A PETITION to save Tisbury’s library from a cut in opening hours gathered 1,100 signatures in just five days.

But it failed to persuade Wiltshire Council leaders to change their minds.

Protests from Mere, on the other hand, did lead to a change of heart at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

Mere library’s core opening hours were set to be reduced from 45 to just 14 a week.

But the Cabinet agreed instead to fund it for 31 hours because the building, which also houses a museum, contains an information point.

Tisbury residents were disappointed that despite sending a delegation including Wiltshire councillor Tony Deane to the meeting, they had no luck.

Retired librarian Felicity Corp said: “To date there has been no consultation whatsoever with the village.

“At present our library opens 13 hours a week. They are talking about just five hours a week, completely done by community volunteers, with just a library assistant to back them up. We are disgusted by the suggestion.

“It would be very hard in Tisbury to get a volunteer team together. A lot of people are only here at weekends.

“If we don’t get enough volunteers, all we will have is a mobile library to serve a population of 3,000. And the council is taking no account of all the new housing development that is just about to start.

“Of all the 10 libraries in this position Tisbury is easily the busiest. It gets 1,000 visits a month.

She said the librarian’s salary isn’t much, and the rent of the building is just £39 a quarter, so there is not a huge amount of money to be saved.

“We feel very badly done by,” she added.

Others pointed out that Tisbury library’s catchment area includes surrounding villages such as Chilmark and Chicksgrove, bringing the ‘feeder population’ up to 5,000.

Miss Corp, who began her own career as an assistant at Tisbury library, added: “It looks as though Wiltshire is going down the same route with our sports centre, relying on the community.

“Even our bank is cutting its hours and there are fears that it could possibly close.”

Cllr Deane said he believed that if residents came up with a reasonable proposal it would be listened to.

He said: “I am sure common sense will prevail in the end.”