COUNCIL bosses have said there is a “strong possibility” no libraries in North Yorkshire will be forced to close amid cash cuts.

North Yorkshire County Council is looking to reduce its libraries bill by £1.7 million, with eight facilities facing the axe unless alternative ways of running them can be found.

But the authority has praised communities for coming forward with suggestions about how they could become involved in running the libraries, including Barlby and Bilton, with proposals for the future of the service set to be discussed in November.

The council originally earmarked 22 libraries for closure, but these plans were scaled back after a public backlash. Facilities in “key centres”, such as Selby and Malton, will stay open with reduced opening hours and fewer staff. Those in areas such as Easingwold, Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside will be run with community groups and receive council support for accommodation, stock and staff.