Fife’s closure-threatened libraries have been given another reprieve.
The final decision on whether to accept a controversial plan to shut 16 libraries to save cash will be made at a full council meeting in March.
Councillors of all parties have been warned they must consider where the money to keep the facilities open would come from when they submit budget proposals next month.
Council leader David Ross made it clear at Tuesday’s executive committee that the council is in a very serious financial position as it faces having to make £91 million of savings over the next three years.
The committee last month agreed to close the libraries but asked communities interested in running them themselves to submit proposals.
But members were forced to reconsider their decision after a scrutiny committee expressed concerns about a lack of information.
They urged councillors to provide £571,000 to keep the threatened libraries open for another year.
This would give time for further discussions about the finance needed for the closure programme.
Opposition members moved to accept the scrutiny committee’s recommendations but Mr Ross’s suggestion to refer the decision to full council was accepted by 12 votes to eight.
He said: “Taking it to full council gives us another three to four weeks where we can have some discussion around these proposals and the issues raised.
“Hopefully we will arrive at some kind of compromise position.”