Council considers earmarking £15,000 to save Highbridge Library
have been raised this week over a Town Council proposal to earmark
£15,000 of funding into Highbridge Library to save it from
a Burnham and Highbridge Town Council meeting on Monday evening
(July 2nd), councillors discussed proposals to fund the library
if Somerset County Council concludes that it should close following
its recent consultation.
councillor Andy Brewer said other parish councils should be consulted
to see if they can provide funds to keep the library open.
agree that we need to keep a library service in Highbridge but I
dont feel comfortable with the idea of agreeing to commit
£15,000 to run it," he said at Monday's meeting.
Cant, Town Clerk for the Town Council, added that the council has
not yet committed any funds to save the library and that discussions
are ongoing with various parties.
John Fones from the Save Highbridge Library campaign group said
while he welcomes the council's proposals, he feels that they are
said: "We are very pleased the Town Council has joined our
campaign to help save the library. Nevertheless we do feel very
concerned that it is too early for the Town Council to be putting
up funding when we havent had a decision from the County Council
feel Somerset County Council is going to be let off the hook by
these proposals from the Town Council."
Peter Clayton - who is the County Councillor for Burnham North -
said that the County Council does not have the funds to keep the
library going. "I dont think it is too early, you either
get support for the library or it will close," he said.
another member of the campaign group, Sheila Forrester, told the
meeting that Mr Fones' opinions do not represent everyone on the
group. "I say thank you to the Town Council for its very welcome
proposal. As a group we want to save the library and I have three
helpers to work with the council on this."
Janet Keen described Highbridge Library as a "jewel in Highbridge's
crown" and added that the council had previously taken a "leap
of faith" in saving The Princess Theatre in Burnham from closing
- and it is now "thriving," demonstrating what could be
done with the library.
John Parkes added that: "Given that Highbridge library only
opens for nine and a half hours a week, it's small wonder that it
has low useage numbers. But there's a real need for it here. It
could also be part of a wider use, such as an outreach centre or
agreed to discuss the proposals in more detail at their next meeting,
in September, after speaking to the parish councils about funding.