NEARLY one in four library jobs have been scrapped following a service review which takes effect this month, the Star can reveal.

The cuts will not cause any libraries to close or reduce opening hours, says a St Helens Council spokesperson.

The library service review - carried out in order to meet saving requirements of £270,000 - sees the elimination of 22 out 96 posts - affecting 23 per cent of staff.

Members of library staff were cut across different levels, including one management post, saving £71,918; two team librarians, saving £63,541; 17 library assistants, saving £186,112, and a member of staff from the bibliographic services unit.

The cuts have been achieved without compulsory redundancies - but have involved redeployment and a temporary recruitment freeze.

The savings offer a sign of where the council has been cutting back after its latest £14.1m grant reduction from government.

There have been calls from political parties outside the town hall for more transparency from the Labour-run council about where the axe is falling and how local services are being affected.

St Helens Council said it has had to balance the banks after £65m of government grant reductions in 2010, during which time it has shed 1,600 jobs.

A spokesperson for St Helens Council said: "Our library service has achieved efficiency savings of £270,000 by restructuring the way it delivers some of its services.

"A part of the savings involved bringing the local studies library downstairs in the Gamble Building - enabling us to manage all the service points in Central Library on the same floor and with fewer staff - planned as part of a temporary recruitment freeze.

"We've also managed to achieve these latest savings without reducing library opening hours, closing any libraries or making any staff compulsorily redundant."

The new structure was subject to consultation with staff and trade unions and carried out in accordance with redundancy and redeployment procedure.

The restructure was approved by the council's regeneration, housing, planning and community safety department.

The council operates a network of 13 libraries across the borough, most of which open five days a week.