Library could close under council's new cost-cutting plans
County Council has this week said Highbridge Library could close
under new cost-cutting proposals unless local volunteers are found
to keep it open.
Library in Market Street, pictured, is among 15 of Somerset's
34 libraries that will have to find local helpers to keep running.
considered by county councillors says the cuts are expected to deliver
between £300,000 and £520,000 of annual savings.
news comes as Somerset County Council begins a public consultation on the
future of its library services, which will
run from 29th January for 12 weeks, when local people will be able to have their say.
council told Burnham-On-Sea.com that Highbridge Library has a catchment population
of 6,786 people, but has just 288 active borrowers, and an annual
footfall of 3,786 people.
Highbridge Library, the council therefore proposes to "provide
library services through either a partnership with the local community
to maintain a library building in Highbridge; or by delivering outreach
library services such as events, activities, small book collections
and/or public computer terminals via alternative venues."
a report, the council says that Burnham-On-Sea Library, pictured right,
has a catchment population of 37,078 people with 3,270 active borrowers,
and an annual footfall of 67,745 people.
council says: "Existing library services will continue
to be provided at Burnham-On-Sea Library. We will continue to explore
the potential to share space with other organisations and/or partners,
in order to save money."
decision was taken by the county council on Thursday (January 18th)
to consult on a set of proposals that seek to put the service on
a sustainable footing for the long-term at a time when all Council
budgets are under enormous pressure.
County Councils Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic
Development, Cllr David Hall, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "These
are challenging financial times and we must put libraries on a sustainable
financial footing for the long-term, whilst still delivering a modern
thriving library service across our County."
services will continue across Somerset whatever the response from
this consultation, but our proposals highlight that keeping some
libraries open may require community support."
we are unable to keep libraries open, we will deliver library services
in other ways such as via alternative venues or mobile library services."
would stress that no decision about the future delivery of library
services in any community has been taken and no decision will be
made until the results of this consultation have been fully analysed.
Please take the opportunity to submit your views on the proposals
from 29th January and offer your ideas or suggestions for any alternative
proposals you may have."
proposals and the questionnaire will be available online from 29th
January at www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation.
2011, the council was forced to shelve its plans to withdraw funding
to 11 libraries across Somerset after a judicial review.