November 19, 2010
MP urges residents to have their say on Highbridge Library's future
MP Tessa Munt has urged residents in Highbridge to make
their views known about the threatened closure of the town's library
as Somerset County Council begins a period of consultation about
Burnham-On-Sea.com was first to report
last month that the library in Market Street is being considered
for closure by the council as part of its multi-million pound
it has since said that no final decision will be made about the
building's future until February 2011 at the earliest.
Council spokeswoman Elizabeth Kulh told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Three
months of consultation are underway and no decision on Highbridge
Library will be made until February at the earliest."
The council has previously said that Highbridge Library is among
the worst performing libraries in Somerset by visitor numbers,
therefore making it difficult to sustain.
But MP Tessa Munt told Burnham-On-Sea.com outside the library:
"The facilities here are used by many different people, not
just book readers, and it would be awful - and unnecessary - to
see them close."
can make their views known about the threat of closure by contacting
the County Council direct or filling in one of the comment cards
at the library. I feel that services like this should not be lost."
Highbridge councillor Cllr Joe Leach added: "Closing our
town library would be disastrous for Highbridge. It would be another
valuable facility gone."
Town councillor Cllr Janet Keen recently said the library's opening
hours have not helped its visitor numbers. "The decreased
hours are having a spiral effect of reducing the usage, thus inadvertently
providing the perfect excuse for closure."
Cllr Chris Williams added: "The County Council needs to
carefully consider the socio-economic implications of considering
its closure. Highbridge really needs a library - it can't close."
Pictured above are Tessa Munt and Joe Leach outside Highbridge
Library holding several of the comment forms which residents can