COUNCIL bosses have defended the decision to remove newspapers from a community library.

Cumbria County Council were criticised for their plans to cut services at Millom Library after agreeing their budget for the year ahead.

A Cumbria County Council spokesperson said: "Following cabinet approval of the 2018/19 budget plan, a reduction in the level of funding for the libraries investment fund has been agreed.

"It is important to note that these savings do not impact on our staffing levels or the number of libraries. However, there are two areas where there will be a significant impact.

"We will no longer be providing physical copies of newspapers in our libraries. We know that a number of people regularly come in to read the newspapers, however we can provide online access to the majority of newspapers through their websites or through PressReader and RB Digital.

"We can also support people to access these through our free computer usage offer.

"While this is a big change for library users, they can access newspaper websites and we can support them to do so.

"If people are not confident using online resources, we can offer to support them through one-to-one support, or via promotion of the fantastic variety of groups and activities on offer in our libraries."

The changes will be brought into effect from April 1 2018, and the council will also no longer buy new CDs or DVDs.

The spokesperson said: "We will also not be purchasing any new stocks of CDs or DVDs. The use of this service has declined over several years as more and more people access their music and entertainment online or via streaming services.

"We will maintain our existing stock and this will be available to borrow in exactly the same way as before."

Daily printed copies of The Mail and The Mirror will no longer be stocked, as well as the weekly editions of The Whitehaven News and The Westmorland Gazette.

However, readers would still be able to access their news online, or by using the library in Whitehaven, which will continue to stock the newspapers.

A notice, which was recently placed inside the popular library read, "Please note from April 1 we will no longer be supplying physically copies of newspapers or magazines in the library."