SOUTH Petherton Library campaigners are looking to hold urgent meetings with Somerset County Council to discuss its future.

The battle to save the library from closure was given a huge lift last week with a High Court ruling stating the county council had been “unlawful” in its closure plans.

And Cllr Paul Maxwell, who represents Petherton at County Hall, said: “The court ruling shows all the campaigners who have fought so hard to help save the Library Service in Somerset were fighting a worthy cause and I pay tribute to them.

“When I was campaigning for the South Petherton county by-election in the summer, I didn’t meet anyone who supported the closure of the library, so this ruling is the right one.

“I’m not sure how the Conservative administration in County Hall will react, but I will be seeking urgent meetings to discuss the future of our library.”

Petherton library was due to have its council funding removed in 2012, while Ilminster and Merriott libraries were saved from closure earlier this year, while opening hours at Chard and Crewkerne libraries were to be slashed.

Chard’s Cllr Jill Shortland said: “It is disgraceful how much taxpayers’ money has been spent trying to defend the actions taken by the administration which have now been found unlawful.”

And Chard’s Cllr Jenny Kenton added: “Now this decision has been made by the High Court, I am worried again about Chard library.

“The budgets were cut and now there is this huge extra legal cost to pay for.

“They can’t close the libraries, so what will they do? Cut even more hours?”

Crewkerne’s Cllr John Dyke said: “The cost to taxpayers will be probably be six figures. One local person said to me: ‘What a waste – you could mend a lot of potholes or buy an awful lot of books with that’.”