FREQUENT visitors feared a popular Swindon library might be moved to a new location after a review of the facilities considered relocating them in a community centre.

Beechcroft Library sits among a row of shops and takeaways on Beechcroft Road in Stratton but the possibility of having it in Meadowcroft Community Centre was considered.

A public consultation asked library users what they thought of the idea and of the current state of the library's services and clubs.

The Friends of Beechcroft Library visited Meadowcroft and worried it would be too small to squeeze everything from the purpose-built building into two converted rooms at the community centre.

Several of them attended a council meeting on Wednesday night to voice their views.

They suggested that extending the library's current opening hours to host evening functions and using the upstairs level more often would generate extra income to help cover running costs, and feared that any move would risk losing good links with nearby schools and cause attendance to clubs to dip just as they were starting to pick up again.

One friend of the library said: "It would take so much from the area, people really appreciate what the libary offers. We're picking ourselves up so let's build it back better."

One parent said: "We go every week. I joined the Knit, Stitch and Natter club which I really enjoy, the lovely old ladies have really welcomed me, and I worry that they might not be able to move down to Meadowcroft - and, with the undesirables you get near the park sometimes, would they still want to visit?"

A report produced by the parish council's clerk reveals that feedback about the library was almost universally positive, with all respondents wanting it to stay where it is now and only one person saying the facilities were unsatisfactory.

Councillors unanimously agreed not to move the library and to carry out a wider public consultation asking what improvements people who do and do not use it would like to see there.

A working group will then be formed to put the most popular suggestions into practice.

An architect may be brought in to draw up plans to improve the lighting, heating and windows.

Coun Roger Smith described the library as a "valuable community asset" and noted the "very persuasive" points made by members of the public who spoke at the meeting, while Coun Tom Butcher highlighted the "overwhelming positive feedback" to the consultation.