THE number of permanent staff at Huntingdonshire libraries will increase – but opening hours will be cut from next month.

Cambridgeshire County Council libraries employ 41 full and part-time staff. But from April 1 new opening hours and staffing structures will see 11 more staff as the council replaces a system reliant on reserve staff to fill gaps when employees are sick or on leave.

A CCC spokesman said: “Staff will have local knowledge which wasn’t available with reserve staff who would be drafted in from different parts of the county.”

Some libraries will have their opening hours reduced and ­others increased.

Huntingdon will lose six hours. It will continue to open at 9.30am but will close at 5pm on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. On Thursday, the hours have been cut to 9.30am-1.30pm. The library will also open half an hour later on Saturday, at 10am. Wednesday is unaffected (9.30am-7pm).

St Neots library (reduced by two hours) will close at 5pm during the week except for Wednesdays (opening until 7pm) and Saturdays (4pm).

In St Ives (four additional hours) the library will open on a Thursday from 9.30am to 1.30pm (it was previously closed) but will shut earlier (5pm) on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and at 4pm on Saturday. Friday and Sunday opening is unaffected.

Ramsey will lose four hours but will close for lunch. It will remain closed on Sunday and Monday and will be open Tuesday (10am-5pm), Wednesday (4pm-7pm), Thursday (10am-5pm), Friday (10am-1pm) and Saturday (10am-1pm).

Sawtry will continue to get the same number of hours, 15, albeit with alterations (Tuesday 4-7pm, Wednesday 9.30am-12.30pm and 2-5pm, Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 9.30am-12.30pm). Both Warboys and Buckden get an extra half-hour a week. Warboys will be open Monday 2-5pm, Thursday 10am-1pm and 2-5pm, and Saturday 10am-1pm. Buckden will open Tuesday 10am-1pm and 2-5pm, Thursday 2-5pm, Friday 5-8pm and Saturday 10am-1pm.

Papworth loses five hours (closing earlier, 1pm, on a Wednesday and closing on a Friday), while Cambourne gains five-and-a-half hours. It will be open 9am-5pm Monday and Friday, 9am-1pm Tuesday and Saturday, and 4-7pm on Thursday.