Plans to transfer Kent’s libraries to a charitable trust are in limbo and will not happen immediately, according to Kent County Council.

The council has confirmed it still wants to pass over the job of running the county's 99 libraries to volunteers in a cost-cutting bid.

But authority officials have announced plans cannot got ahead until the registration of births, deaths and marriage services are included in the package.

News Shopper: Dartford Library is one of the libraries which would be affected by the proposal

Dartford library

KCC is the only one in the country to have put its registration services into the library service.

But legislation would be needed to allow registration services to be outsourced to another organisation.

It is not clear how and when that may happen as it would require the government to pass legislation through the General Register Office.

KCC says it will look to save money until the situation is resolved.

Council cabinet member for community services Councillor Mike Hill said: "We are grateful to all the users of our services who took part in this very thorough consultation.

News Shopper:

Councillor Mike Hill


"It shows the commitment of our customers, and our over-riding aim is to continue to provide them with an excellent service.

"We consider that moving to a trust model is the best way to preserve the current level of service. In the meantime we intend to modernise the service, so it can continue to meet the needs of the users.

"This includes finding ways to maximise the use of our library buildings, making greater use of new technology and exploring other ways to generate extra income.

"In particular we would like to see more of our libraries reconnecting with our communities, drawing in groups, individuals and other services who are not currently using the facilities."