CHILDREN who forget to return library books by the due date will no longer be charged an overdue fine.

Herefordshire Council has reviewed its library charges and from October 9 will no longer give fines to children age five to 17; under-fives are already free.

But the overdue fine for adults has increased from 17p a day to 20p a day.

The charges for self-service printing and photocopying in black and white are staying the same, but for colour in A4 the charge is being increased from 20p to 40p and colour A3 increased from 30p to 80p.

The maximum overdue charge is being increased for adults from £7.65 to £8.

Replacement charges are also being changed with proposed standard replacement charges.

The proposed changes are in response to a cabinet report in which a staffing and efficiency target of £80,000 was set for the financial year 2017/18, which includes charging.

It is expected that the increase in charges will create a net increase in the region of £5,000 to £7,000.

They are designed to balance the need to recover costs, against the possibility of discouraging and inhibiting use by some members of the public.

The changes in charges will be introduced during national libraries week starting on October 9, along with a week-long amnesty on overdue books.

Books returned this week will not face an overdue fine.

The council said: "Based on a maximum fine on adult books currently at £7.65 and on children’s £2.25 the financial impact is unlikely to be huge. The main impact of the amnesty will be to encourage people re-joining and using the library and result in some books being returned rather than buy new ones."