A county councillor battling to save North Yorkshire libraries from closure said his alternative plan would keep the services open while saving hundreds of thousands of pounds annually.

Liberal councillor John Clark was speaking shortly after seeing his motion voted down by fellow members of the care and independence scrutiny committee on North Yorkshire County Council yesterday.

The county council is currently considering a plan to withdraw funding from more than half of its 42 libraries, including ones in Barlby, Boroughbridge, Easingwold, Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Tadcaster.

However, it recently admitted that, following a public backlash against the plans, it was now re-thinking how the cuts could be more evenly spread.

Council leader John Weighell said: “Although cuts will have to be made, it is felt the pain of those cuts should be more evenly shared out.”

However, Coun Clark said his own plan would see the authority saving £1 million in its first year and an expected £475,000 in the second year if the council agreed to his motion.

His suggestion included reducing the number of mobile libraries by four instead of ten, keeping all the threatened smaller libraries open, but with reduced opening hours, and reducing opening hours at the main libraries.

Plans for a “super mobile library” would be scrapped.

He said: “This motion first went forward in February and the delay in not doing it has already cost the county council £3,000 a day.

“Our aim is to keep all the libraries, including the mobile ones, open but I have not heard even a rumour about saving the mobiles. In the meantime, we will continue to push and keep up the pressure.”

While his motion was voted down yesterday, a final decision on it will be made by the council executive on May 17.