BOOK worms in Trafford who have mislaid their library loans will no longer have to worry about the dreaded financial punishment.

Trafford Council has announced it is set to abolish overdue charges in its libraries, giving library users access to a completely free loan service.

From April this year, all libraries in the borough will stop issuing fines for items that are returned late.

Trafford would be the first borough in Greater Manchester to introduce this change.

Currently, borrowers can be charged 15p every day a book is late, up to a maximum of £10.

Across social media, some agreed it was a great idea and said it was a good incentive for more people to use the libraries and would reduce stress of the elderly or busy parents who can easily forget a deadline. However, a lot of residents seemed opposed the scheme.

Many complained there would be no incentive to return books meaning less for other users and said the scheme was the 'beginning of an end' for the libraries.

Sale resident, Hannah Eisenburg said: "I love the libraries, all for supporting them, however without fines there is no way of controlling stock and ensuring reservations are fulfilled. It encourages people to be lax."

Another resident, Diane Leytham is a visitor to Sale Library. She said: "When the lending period was just three weeks I would have welcomed the no fines idea as I am elderly and cant always get into Sale. However, now they have extended the lending period and you can renew your books eight times before a fine is due then I think there is enough time to return books at some stage. I always get an email a few days before my date to return anyway."

Many agreed that fines should be abolished for children, however adults should still be fined for late returns.

The move is a welcome step and is part of the Council’s efforts to ensure all of its communities have access to a modern, fit for purpose library service.

In recent years, new libraries in the north of the borough in Urmston, Trafford Town Hall and Old Trafford have opened and currently new ones are being constructed Altrincham, Timperley and Hale.

Sale, Stretford and Coppice libraries continue to thrive as hubs in the heart of their communities, alongside those in Partington, Woodsend and Lostock.

Cllr Sean Anstee, Leader of Trafford Council, said: “Trafford Library Service has always been innovative in the way it operates. Abolishing fines for everyone is another example of how we can continue to make improvements to our library service. Trafford Library Service has also led the way by: training customer service advisors to offer council services; introducing volunteers into all libraries; being one of the first to adopt the Open Plus technology which allows library opening hours to be extended."