Lyme Regis’s threatened library is a step closer to being saved, but hopes are fading for Charmouth.

The threat of closure still hangs over 20 of Dorset’s libraries but plans to save 10 of them – including Lyme – have received further backing this week.

A report outlining four money-saving options went before Dorset County Council’s Community Overview Committee on Monday.

Campaigners from Lyme Regis and Charmouth united on the steps of County Hall and were joined by others from Ad Lib (the Association of Friends of Dorset Libraries).

After the meeting, they claimed that ‘democracy has not been served’ as members voted down a proposal that would save all of Dorset’s 34 libraries by cutting costs in other ways.

Director of adult and community services Debbie Ward told the committee that Option B – which would still abandon 10 libraries – was the preferred choice of council officers following a public consultation into the future of the service.

Under this proposal, Lyme Regis and Beaminster libraries would be saved, but Charmouth and Burton Bradstock would be closed.

Coun David Crowhurst spoke as chairman of the Policy Develop-ment Panel (PDP), a group of councillors asked to look specifically at the future of libraries, and said they supported Option D.

This would save all the libraries by finding funds through cuts to books and staff.

Coun David C Fox proposed Option D but the vote was lost.

Members instead agreed that all four options would be presented to the Cabinet, with Option B the preferred choice.

Anita Williams, from the Save the Lyme Regis Library Campaign, said: “The meeting was very confused again. I’m disappointed there seems to be contradiction between what people said and what people voted.

“I was disappointed that a request was made for a recorded vote that was not supported. It would be nice to see councillors prepared to stand up and be accountable.”

Ms Williams said while the situation is hopeful for Lyme, she would have liked to see a ‘proper plan’ that saved all Dorset’s libraries.

“We are another step closer to being saved,” she said. “But we won’t be cracking open the bottles until after full council in July.

“We really feel for Charmouth because they have worked so hard. It must be soul destroying to get to this stage.”

Hazel Robinson, chairman of the Friends of Charmouth Library, said although all four options have gone forward, B and D remain the only real ones in contention.

She said: “It remains hard for those of us who care about keeping our libraries to understand how Conservative councillors are so obdurate in their support for closures, even when there is a viable alternative which their own advisory committee, the Policy Development Panel, has devised.”

The Cabinet will consider the options on July 6 and full council will make a decision on July 21.