Liberal Democrats at Cornwall Council have claimed that a plan to strip out managers from the county’s libraries could damage the service for users.

However the council has said that far from wanting to “strip our libraries of our best staff” the vast majority of library users will not notice any decline in the service they receive.

Alex Folkes, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Cornwall Council has called on the authority to halt a proposal that he said would get rid of all library managers within Cornwall.

He claimed that 30 “highly trained and specialised” library managers in Cornwall have been asked to either seek voluntary redundancy or to apply for one of just 11 new posts "I've talked to a large number of people in the library service since I became aware of these plans at the end of last week," said Mr Folkes. “None of the people I've talked to is happy about the proposal and all think it will result in a diminished service."

“This proposal will axe the most experienced leadership. The quality of service can only go down if we lose up to 19 top managers."

He also claimed councillors had been sidelined “yet again” in the decision making process.

Steve Double, the council’s cabinet support member for shared services said that to avoid library closures and make savings, some tough decisions had to be made.

“The budget set by the Council called for approximately £1m of savings to be made from within the Face to Face service, which includes libraries. These savings were outlined in a report discussed by the council’s Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee last month.

“The council is bringing its face to face services together into one service. A series of formal and informal consultations have been held with library and other face to face staff and the unions, as a result a new staffing structure has been developed.”

He said they were “committed” to maintaining the number of staff available to deal with the public day to day and changes would ensure an experienced member of staff is on site in every library.