THE library in Ross-on-Wye provides much more than a book-lending service, one campaigner has said.

Clare West of the Ross Library Development Group said they are very concerned about the current proposals to close the library in Cantilupe Road.

Under Herefordshire Council's latest cost-saving proposals, Ross could be 'withdrawn' along with Belmont and Leominster.

The council said the possibility of closure is just a proposal and is part of the ongoing budget consultation.

Mrs West said: "Obviously we think it is an incredibly important service in Ross. It provides so much- from the things they do for the very small children to all the school support through to helping the elderly. It is a fantastic service."

The group is encouraging people to sign the county-wide petition and it will also be putting out a petition specifically to keep Ross library open.

The development group is there to support the library and its staff.

Mrs West added: "We don't believe in volunteer-led libraries- they don't work- it is not practical.

"A library our size wouldn't find enough people. You should see how many volunteers it takes to run Peterchurch and that is smaller and only open a few hours a week."

She said the building was also built to provide a space for community groups to use.

Mrs West said there are excellent exhibitions at the library and added: "Of course the library is the only place in Ross town centre where there is free access to computers. There is also wifi.

"It isn't just for people who can't afford a computer. I know a small local business where their internet access went down and he worked in the library for a week to keep it going. It is really a fantastic service. Ross would be so much poorer without it."

To sign the county-wide petition go to

To take part in the budget consultation go to