SEDGEFIELD residents, who are campaigning to extend the opening hours of the town library, have organised a meeting to recruit more helpers.

The Friends of Sedgefield Library group was set up last month in response to Durham County Council’s decision to slash the library’s opening hours from 39 per week to 20 from next January.

The group hopes to increase this to 25 hours, but needs to raise £5,000-a-year to cover the additional running costs.

On Friday (November 2) at 7pm a public meeting will be held at Sedgefield Parish Hall to create a steering group to co-ordinate fundraising efforts.

There will also be a presentation on how “friends” groups operate by a member of the council’s libraries team.

Sedgefield is one of 39 towns and community libraries in County Durham that will see a reduction in opening hours next year. The move, which is due to significant Government funding cuts, will save Durham County Council £1.5m.

Town mayor, Coun John Robinson, said: “Everyone is welcome to attend. The more people who become a friend of the library, the more effective the group will be.”