CALLS are being made to reverse library cuts in Worcestershire - with one councillor saying they should not be called "savings".

Labour Councillor Luke Mallett says the county's library spending should be safeguarded instead of trimmed down.

As your Worcester News revealed back in July, £2.7 million needs to be saved from libraries by 2016, with just £513,000 of that still to be plugged.

The county council has managed to get this far without a single library being closed, instead opting for alternatives by slashing jobs, using more volunteers and scaling down the mobile service.

Hours at libraries around the county, including the £60 million Hive in Worcester, are under review while the council attempts to save more to meet the target.

A new report has been published on behalf of chief executive Clare Marchant describing the spending reductions as "savings".

Cllr Mallett said: "I do think this report presents this area through rose tinted glasses.

"I note that our aspiration is to cut £2.7 million from a £7 million library budget, and we've cut (more than) £2 million of that already.

"I think libraries add value to our communities, this is a cut, not a saving.

"I do think if the chief executive talks about cuts in the future, she should talk about cuts and not savings."

He said the reductions meant a "smaller book budget" and more volunteers, reducing the previous services on offer at libraries.

The report insists libraries are "thriving" around Worcestershire, with the percentage of self-service issuing of books now at a whopping 98 per cent.

It also says there are more children joining libraries than ever and thanks to the efforts of people in communities like Upton, Broadway and Wythall, no centre has closed.

There have also been more than 16,000 electronic downloads of books over the last year.

The Conservative leadership has vowed to ensure that none of the libraries do close in making up the rest of that £2.7 million target.

Mrs Marchant said: "The libraries example is one where we've taken a huge amount out of the budget, and I'm not going to get into the politics of whether it's a cut or a saving.

"But they've come up with innovate solutions and we haven't closed a single library."