A COMMUNITY library in Test Valley has lost its funding from Hampshire County Council, much to the disappointment and frustration of a local councillor.

North Baddesley is one of three community libraries which will no longer receive financial support as the local authority attempts to save cash.

The decision means it is unclear whether the site on Willis Avenue, which is run by volunteers, will be able to stay open.

Cllr Alan Dowden, who represents Baddesley at the county council, feels there will be “many disappointed people” following the decision.

He said: “It’s disheartening when people have worked so hard thinking they had a hope of saving it.

“I fought so hard to try to keep it open as a community library and scores and scores of volunteers have kept it going for years.

“They expect people to give up their time to volunteer and then they have the audacity to say ‘you’ve got to raise money to keep it going’.

“The public library service, quite frankly, is a public service and these services should be supported.”

Hampshire County Council says the decision to close eight libraries and withdraw funding from three others will allow it to save £1.76m.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Cllr Sean Woodward, executive member for recreation and heritage, agreed that all the libraries affected will be able to apply for grants and ask for advice should they wish to become independent libraries.

However, according to Cllr Dowden this will only “put off the inevitable”.

He added: “I can see a lot of people are so fed up with everything these days, I can see them thinking ‘we can’t keep doing it this year after year’ and the business funding is far more difficult to gain because businesses are struggling to the point of collapsing.

“The first year they could apply for a grant but that would just put off the inevitable because next year it’s going to be even tougher with unemployment and everything else.”

Although he is yet to speak to the volunteers who run the library, Cllr Dowden says “it looks inevitable it will go”.

He has, however, vowed to do “his best” to help the cause.