Published:
February 27, 2018
Petition to save Highbridge Library attracts dozens of supporters

Dozens of people have signed a petition calling on Somerset County Council to halt the possible closure of Highbridge Library.

The petition is available to sign online here and has attracted over 80 signatures in the space of a week.

The 'Save Highbridge Library' campaign group held a protest outside County Hall in Taunton last week with around 30 union members.

Dave Chapple, Secretary of Bridgwatwer Trades Union Council, said: "The local campaign group aims to maximise the pressure on Somerset County Council to ensure Highbridge Library remains open as a professional and directly staffed facility."

He adds: "It is vital that this campaign is as broadly-based as possible. We want everyone in Highbridge who cares about their library service, regardless of political affiliation, to support it."

As first reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com, Somerset County Council says Highbridge Library could close under its cost-cutting proposals unless local volunteers are found to keep it open.

One of the protesters, Sheila Forrester from Highbridge, says: "Some people can't get to another library as they haven't got the money to do so. Highbridge needs a library - it's only open part-time and it isn't going to be a big saving to the council to shut it."

"It is an area of deprivation with the second highest deprivation in the country, so it has a good case."

A report considered by county councillors says the cutbacks are expected to deliver between £300,000 and £520,000 of annual savings across Somerset.

Somerset County Council says that Highbridge Library has a catchment population of 6,786 people, but it has just 288 active borrowers, and an annual footfall of 3,786 people. The council's consultation on the future of how its library services can be accessed is online at: www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation.

Pictured: The protest in Taunton last week (photos Andy Mitchell)

 


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