Churchfield School pupils plea: 'Save our town's library'
and staff at Highbridge's Churchfield School have this week
issued a plea to Somerset County Council to halt its controversial
plans to shut the town's library.
school's pupils and head teacher have given their backing to the
campaign to halt the possible closure of Highbridge Library.
National Book Week as their theme, pupils dressed up as their favourite
book characters to show their support.
Justin Philcox, Churchfield Church School Headteacher spoke out
against the closure plans.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Just as a house without books is
an impoverished house, so it is inconceivable that any school can
fully engage pupil's imaginations without the aid of books to suit
all ages and abilities."
Church School is working hard on making sure every child at school
has developed a love of reading. The library is an important resource
within our community and the children and staff are proud to support
the Save Highbridge Library Campaign."
can only hope that Somerset County Council realises the special
nature of our Highbridge community, and finds ways continues to
fund our local library with at least the trained staff and hours
it currently has."
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
Highbridge Library' campaign petition is available to sign
online here and has already attracted many signatures.
considered by county councillors says the cutbacks are expected
to deliver between £300,000 and £520,000 of annual savings
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.
council's consultation on the future of how its library services
can be accessed is online at: www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation.
County Councils Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic
Development, Cllr David Hall, pictured right, says: "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. Where 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
and offer your ideas or suggestions for any alternative proposals
you may have."
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."
Poctured: The library protest by Churchfield School children
and the threatened library (photos: Burnham-On-Sea.com / David Pearce)