November 2, 2010
Can boost in Highbridge library's hours rescue it from closure?
Town councillors have this week called for the opening
hours of closure-threatened Highbridge Library to be increased
in a bid to boost usage and rescue it from potential closure.
Burnham-On-Sea.com was first to report
last month that the library in Market Street, pictured, is
being considered for closure by Somerset County Council as part
of its multi-million pound budget cuts.
But Cllr Janet Keen has devised a plan to try and prevent the
closure. She explained at Monday's town council meeting: "Highbridge
Library is being considered for closure partly due to low numbers
of users, but I feel the opening hours could be the main reason
why it is so little used."
is open on just two half days a week and all day Thursday, except
"The decreased hours are having a spiral effect of reducing
the usage, thus inadvertently providing the perfect excuse for
She added: "Highbridge needs its library for many reasons,
not only leisure reading, and I suggest that as a pilot the opening
hours be increased for a period of three months and extensive
advertising done to give potential users this information, then
analyse the results before any decision is taken about its future."
The proposal was considered by town councillors, who voted unanimously
in support of the proposal. Somerset County Council is to be approached
on the idea.
Although the funding of libraries was considered by members of
the County Council's Cabinet at a meeting in Taunton on Monday
(November 1st) no final decision was taken on the future of Highbridge
Council spokeswoman Jan Hookings told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We
are still consulting on the various options for libraries such