on Burnham and Highbridge library cutbacks welcomed
times at Burnham-On-Sea library will be increased from next month
and the threat of closure hanging over Highbridge library has
been lifted, the County Council has confirmed this week.
technology is also to be introduced at Burnham as part of a county-wide
£600,000 modernisation programme.
announcement comes after Burnham-On-Sea.com reported
last week that the council had been recommended not to proceed
with a series of financial cuts to its library services following
last November's High Court judicial review ruling that they would
library will therefore keep its funding and no longer faces closure,
while opening hours at Burnham Library will revert back to their
previous times by Monday 6th February.
county councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton, pictured below, welcomed
the news, telling Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Clearly, this is good
news for Highbridge Library, and the modernisation of Burnham
Library and the re-instated opening hours should be welcomed."
feel any proposals should be carefully considered to ensure that
Burnham library will go from strength to strength and staffing
levels maintained so as to provide a quality service for its users.
A full service review is due to start in April and I will work
to ensure our local libraries will continue to offer an excellent
standard of service."
County Council had been advised in a report that not reverting
library services to their previous state would make it "highly
likely the council would be held in contempt of court."
Library users will see new equipment introduced over the next
year to 'self-serve' check-in and check-out of books.
making Wednesday's announcement, Cllr Lawrence, Cabinet Member
for Community Services, also outlined the County Council's approach
to deciding the future funding and shape of the library service.
members will consider the future of the service as part of a service
review due to begin in April. All of the Council's services are
being reviewed over the next 18 months.
investment in self-service technology will help modernise the
Library Service," Cllr Lawrence told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
"However, given the extreme financial pressures all Council
services are under, we still need to consider the future funding
and shape of libraries and this decision sets out the process
by which that can happen."
self-service technology will be introduced at Somerset's ten busiest
libraries - including Burnham - during the financial year 2012/13,
with work scheduled to begin in Taunton in April 2012.
in self-service technology - also known as Radio Frequency Identification
or RFID - will come from capital funding which cannot be spent
on the running costs of the Library Service.
was due to be withdrawn at six libraries - including Highbridge
- at the end of October 2011, but this was put on hold pending
the Judicial Review. The Judicial Review judgement on 16th November
declared the decision taken by Full Council in February 2011 and
related decisions, to pursue the proposed changes to the Library
Service, unlawful because of a failure to comply with public sector