HOUSEHOLDERS in Helmsley could be asked to pay an extra £20 - £30 a year council tax to keep a library service in the town.

The Town Council heard last week that a working party is making plans to ensure the service survives in the light of anticipated budget cuts by North Yorkshire County Council.

Coun Martin Vander Weyer said decisions on the future of the library, currently housed in the Town Hall, had not yet been made but if it ceases to be run by NYCC and become a community library run by volunteers, the town council could help fund the service by adding to its precept on council tax bills.

But the council also had to take into account the funding of other services, including grass cutting because it is losing £1,500 annually from next year because of NYCC cutbacks.

Grant aiding other facilities, such as the sports club would need to be considered, councillors agreed.

It is not yet known whether the library will continue at the Town Hall if it becomes a community run service, said Coun Vander Weyer who added that other potential sites might by the Arts Centre or the town's primary school.

Coun Chris Parkin, the chairman, said: "The library is a valued town facility as is the sports club."