held in Burnham-On-Sea over possible cuts to local libraries
protest has been held outside Burnham-On-Sea library over potential
cutbacks by Somerset County Council to local library services.
local branch of the Labour Party held a demonstration outside Burnham
Library on Saturday, as pictured here, to raise awareness about
the forthcoming consultation on changes to the library service across
we reported here, the
council was forced to shelve its plans to withdraw funding to 11
libraries in 2011 after a judicial review, but the authority is
now considering whether to hand over the running of the service
to local groups.
Leader David Fothergill said: "We have to find different models
of operating libraries which may mean we won't be operating them
said the council has had £100m of its budget cut by the government
over the past few years. "We haven't put in any savings for
this year for libraries - what we want to do is go out to consultation
and find out the best way to provide our library services,"
he said. "If
money is being taken off us as a county council by central government
we have to [be] reviewing the services we deliver."
proposals may also involve fewer libraries being run in the county
by the local authority.
Saturday's protest outside Burnham Library, John Fones from North
West Somerset Branch Labour Party said: "When we saw this article
we wanted to do something about it immediately. It is important
for people in Burnham and Highbridge to know that the Labour Party
is concerned about local issues such as the threat to Library Funding."
and librarians have been part of our cultural landscape since the
founding of the first public library in Peterborough, New Hampshire
in 1833 and the Public Libraries Act 1850 in the UK."
Saturday in Burnham, we met parents and children, retired people,
working people and all said they were shocked at the very idea of
County Council funding being stopped."
come in to use all the things that libraries now offer - we spoke
to one person who says he is unemployed and has no Internet at home
- but he can always use the library to apply for jobs online."
children wanted to sign our petition and were very upset when they
heard the library was threatened. I am sure the County Council has
to keep strict control over its finances, but the notion of Conservative
County councillors complaining about Conservative government cuts
is just too ludicrous. Do they have no sense of irony at all?"
added: "The Labour Party has been campaigning across the Wells
constituency since the General Election and locally in Highbridge,
Rooksbridge and Burnham. People are worried about the Health Service
and Social care. People are worried about local transport. People
are worried about their jobs, about local policing."
are worried about schools - we know that the local secondary school
has an inadequate OFSTED inspection report. Parents and children
value the learning that takes place through the local library and
yet we learn that funding may be cut. If funding is cut, then the
service will not survive in its present form."
Labour Party is not complacent about the library. The Labour Party
are not just holding up our hands and complaining about central
government cuts. The Labour Party is campaigning on this and will
be lobbying hard to ensure this idea hits the rails now. There is
no need for any consultation - there is no need to cut this funding."
campaigners are inviting residebnts sign a petition here
to stop the possible cuts.