day taking place today on Highbridge Library closure plan
library will be hosting a special consultation day today (Thursday)
when users can find out more about the County Council's controversial
plans that include the possible closure of the facilities.
first reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com, Somerset
County Council says Highbridge Library could close under its
cost-cutting proposals unless local volunteers are found to keep
drop-in session will be held at Highbridge Library during Thursday
(15th February) from 10am - 1pm when users can find out more.
considered by county councillors says the cutbacks are expected
to deliver between £300,000 and £520,000 of annual savings
council says that Highbridge Library has a catchment population
of 6,786 people, but it has just 288 active borrowers, and an annual
footfall of 3,786 people.
council proposes to "provide library services through either
a partnership with the local community to maintain a library building
in Highbridge; or by delivering outreach library services such as
events, activities, small book collections and/or public computer
terminals via alternative venues."
town councillor Cllr John Parkes told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I
am very concerned about the future for Highbridge Library and would
encourage local people to have their say."
number of users has decreased because Highbridge
Library's opening hours have been cut back to just nine and
a half hours a week. It's no longer open outside normal working
hours, or when children want to use it after school, so of course
the usage figures are low."
added: "Given that Highbridge's only secondary school, King
Alfred School, is improving after a poor OFSTED rating, you would
hope that it's more important than ever for Somerset County Council
to help improve young people's literacy by providing a library here."
County Councils Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic
Development, Cllr David Hall, right, says: "These are
challenging financial times and we must put libraries on a sustainable
financial footing for the long-term, whilst still delivering a modern
thriving library service across our County."
services will continue across Somerset whatever the response from
this consultation, but our proposals highlight that keeping some
libraries open may require community support. Where we are unable
to keep libraries open, we will deliver library services in other
ways such as via alternative venues or mobile library services."
would stress that no decision about the future delivery of library
services in any community has been taken and no decision will be
made until the results of this consultation have been fully analysed.
Please take the opportunity to submit your views on the proposals
and offer your ideas or suggestions for any alternative proposals
you may have."
County Council's consultation on the future of how its library services
can be accessed at: www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation.