PLANS to privatise libraries across the Wokingham borough were given the go ahead yesterday (Thursday).

Councillors approved controversial plans to outsource the borough's 11 libraries to a private company at the executive committee meeting, in a bid to save £170,000 a year.

Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for community development, said: "I would like the committee to agree to start a dialogue with private companies to see if the interest is there.

"If a partner is identified, then we will be required to agree again on whether to go ahead with outsourcing." Cllr Rob Stanton, executive member for education, added: "This is a very exciting opportunity. We have not committed to anything yet, but this could give the libraries a new lease of life and I welcome the investment." Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the plans at the meeting. If a suitable company is found, services will not be outsourced until May next year.