July 31, 2017
Somerset County Council considering cutbacks to local libraries

Cuts to libraries in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge could be on the cards as Somerset County Council reconsiders plans to save £12m from next year's budget.

In 2011, the council was forced to shelve its plans to withdraw funding to 11 libraries after a judicial review.

Now the authority is considering whether to hand over the running of the service to local groups.

Council Leader David Fothergill said: "We have to find different models of operating libraries which may mean we won't be operating them directly."

He said the council has had £100m of its budget cut by the government over the past few years.

"We haven't put in any savings for this year for libraries - what we want to do is go out to consultation and find out the best way to provide our library services," he said.

"If money is being taken off us as a county council by central government we have to [be] reviewing the services we deliver."

The proposals may also involve fewer libraries being run in the county by the local authority.

The public consultation will begin in the autumn before any decision is made.


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