After months of uncertainty, the future of Cockermouth Library has been decided.

Cumbria County Council’s cabinet yesterday agreed to transfer the building to the town council.

The existing library staff are all leaving, having taken voluntary redundancy, and the town council will move the tourist information centre into the building, with its staff manning both services.

The Friends of Cockermouth Library (FoCL) this week met Lizzy Shaw, the county council’s Allerdale area manager, town and county councillor Alan Kennon, libraries manager Kathryn Flagg, and town clerk Sheila Brown.

“Officers noted that the talking books service was something people felt passionately about, and as a result they have decided to keep this service,” said the group’s Richard Watson. “Library opening hours will be under review, and if there is clear evidence of demand then alterations will be considered.

“They assure us that there is no intention to reduce overall space devoted to library services.

“On publicly available computers, there remains some uncertainty as to which tier of local government will continue to provide this service after April 1, but FoCL pressed the point that this service needs to continue seamlessly, and the officers were confident this would happen.”

They were told a member of the county library service will visit Cockermouth regularly.

“I think people felt we were working together. There are still some big questions, such as the staffing, but we are assured the tourist information staff are interested in learning about library services,” Mr Watson added.