Published: January 9, 2011
Petition calls for re-think on Highbridge Library closure plans

Hundreds of residents who are concerned at the County Council's plans to shut 20 libraries across Somerset - including Highbridge's - have signed a petition calling for a re-think about the controversial plans.

Residents who arrived for a special open day at Highbridge Library on Saturday morning (January 9th) were urged to sign the petition, as pictured, which calls on the council to hold an urgent review about the cost-cutting proposals.

The petition sheets have been placed in local shops and you can also sign the petition online here.

Dozens of residents flocked to the library in Market Street to air their concerns. The event was held to raise awareness and encourage residents to take part in the County Council's Libraries Consultation Questionnaire, which is available online here.

Cllr Chris Williams, who was among the local residents at the event, told "There absolutely has to be a library in Highbridge. It is too crucial for the town to lose."

Cllr Pat Burge added: "No-one wants this library to go - every alternative to closing it must be considered."

And Cllr Janet Keen added that Highbridge Library is a "valuable facility" that must not be lost.

Local resident Andrew Rose, pictured below, added: "I regularly use the computers in Highbridge Library - they are a wonderful facility that gave helped me greatly. I would hate to see the service go."

Nadia McDevitt, senior library assistant at Highbridge, told she was pleased with the support shown during Saturday's open day.

"We had a good turnout with lots of support from locals who don't want to see this library close."

"The overwhelming feeling is that Highbridge needs these facilities. There are not a great deal of facilities in the town as it is, and the town would be worse off it the library were to go. Many local youngsters who use the facilities would have nowhere else to turn to."

"It's also interesting to note that Highbridge Library actually has a wider catchment than just the town - it's used by many people from the villages around."

During Saturday's open day, residents heard about the council's proposals to slash funding for the library and seek volunteers to run it. reported last month that the library is on a hit list of 20 across Somerset which the council wants to wind down as part of a £75million cost-cutting exercise.

Pictured are, top, Highbridge Library users Mike Long and Helen Groves with the petition on Saturday and, above, some of the others who attended the open day


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