PLANS for volunteers to take over the running of Bishops Lydeard Library have been put on hold for six months.

Somerset County Council has earmarked the facility for the axe as part of its multi-million pound cuts.

But a request for a judicial review of the proposed library closures in Somerset has scuppered the planned October 1 takeover.

John Smeaton, chairman of Bishops Lydeard Community Library committee, said: “When the county announced it was withdrawing funding for some libraries, we assumed we’d be one of them as it had the lowest footfall in Somerset.

“We held a public meeting and decided to try to take it over and run it on a voluntary basis – about 130 people said they’d like to help.

“We’d planned to take over from the start of October, but the judicial review has stopped that – it’s not going to be until at least April now.”

Local builder Charlie Back, who owns the building, has agreed to let it rent free for two years, while the council is donating £5,000 for set-up costs, the current stock of books and some equipment.

Hundreds of books have been donated – some are being sold to raise funds, others will go on the shelves.

Members would be charged around £3 annually.

Mr Smeaton added: “We reckon we can run a pretty effective library on about £6,000 a year – compared to the £22,000 it was costing the council.

“We’re all local and we’d be able to provide a community facility catering for what local people want.”