All of Oxfordshire 43 public libraries will remain open, under new plans published today by Oxfordshire County Council.

In a U-turn from the previous proposal to withdraw funding from 20 branches, council leader Keith Mitchell said County Hall was now “meeting communities half-way by acknowledging feedback we have received against a context that we still need to make financial savings.”

The council will pay for all 43 libraries to have free access to a suitable building, a book stock, access to the library management system, and support from professional librarians.

They will all be fitted with self-service machines.

Under the plans, 22 libraries - including seven previously set to lose their funding - will remain fully staffed by council employees.

Another five will have “significant levels of staffing” with volunteers helping out.

Staffing at the remaining 16 mainly rural libraries will shift from county council staff to volunteers over three years.

Consultation on the plans will run for four months.