Published:
December 23, 2014
Mobile library services across the Burnham-On-Sea area face the axe

Time is running out to have your say on proposed cuts to mobile library routes across the Burnham-On-Sea area as Somerset County Council aims to save £500,000.

Cutbacks are planned for routes through Brent Knoll, East Huntspill and West Huntspill.

Under the proposals, some stops will be axed altogether from August 2015 and others will be merged.

Those mobile library stops that are earmarked to be cut include nine serving Brent Knoll - Burton Row, Ham Farm, Post Office, East Ride, Lympsham Road Junction, Brent Street No. 137, Old Post Office, Shrub Farm and The Red Cow.

Parish and district councillor Bob Filmer told Burnham-On-Sea.com the proposals would be a blow to the area. "While we have a population of mixed ages in Brent Knoll, a lot of elderly residents rely on the mobile library service - it's a popular facility, which is why there are so many stops here in the village."

"The County Council would be making a relatively small saving on its overall budget by cutting these services - savings should be made elsewhere."

"The village is already being hit hard because we stand to lose our 102 bus service as part of other cost-cutting plans, so this would mean residents would not even be able to travel to Burnham Library instead."

"It seems that when the government is trying to promote sustainable communities, this is a step backwards. As a village, we have raised our concerns via the Parish Council to the County Council and our County Councillor, John Denby, is also in discussions on the matter."

But Cllr David Hall, cabinet member with responsibility for libraries at Somerset County Council, defended the plans, saying: "These proposals would enable us to continue to provide a high quality library service, whilst potentially saving the council nearly £500,000."

"Library buildings will remain open for all to enjoy, but as can be seen, there are still tough decisions to make. We are keen to hear your views which will help shape our final way forward."

Feedback from the consultation is set to end on January 11th 2015. It will be used to create a final set of proposals to take to Somerset County Council’s Cabinet meeting in February when a final decision on the way forward is due to be made. To take part, the proposals and questionnaire can be accessed online here or by email to: libraryservicereview@somerset.gov.uk


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