Published:
April 26, 2018
Highbridge library users urged to have their say on closure plans

People in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge are being urged to have their say on the future of Somerset libraries services until Wednesday 13 June.

Over 3,970 responses to the consultation have been received so far from across Somerset, but the Council says it wants to hear from more young people.

As 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 it open.

The consultation, which started in January, asks all Somerset residents to review proposals for the library they visit most, consider the options put forward for delivering library services in future, and give their feedback via an online questionnaire at www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation.

There are nine area summaries available online and in all 34 Somerset libraries, covering proposals on how library services could be delivered in future.

The proposals show that for 12 libraries, there will be no change. These include Burnham-On-Sea, Bridgwater, Chard, Frome, Glastonbury, Langport, Minehead, Taunton, Wells, Williton, Wincanton and Yeovil.

For 15 libraries, the council says that community support may be required to keep the buildings open: Highbridge, Bishops Lydeard, Bruton, Castle Cary, Milborne Port, Nether Stowey, North Petherton, Porlock, Priorswood (Taunton), Somerton, South Petherton, Street, Sunningdale (Yeovil), Watchet and Wiveliscombe.

The proposals also highlight that seven library buildings may remain unchanged or may require community support to remain open: Cheddar, Crewkerne, Dulverton, Ilminster, Martock, Shepton Mallet and Wellington.

Where it is not possible to keep library buildings open in future, library services would instead be provided either through outreach in community venues or through additional mobile library stops.

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Development at Somerset County Council, said: "Libraries are popular with pre-school children and we’d encourage parents to use the consultation to tell us about what impact the proposals would have on their children, by filling in a questionnaire on their behalf and talking to their children about the proposals."

"There’s still time to give us feedback on our proposals and we’d like to encourage everyone, including as many children and young people as possible, to let us know their thoughts on how we may deliver library services in future."

A number of library consultation focus groups are taking place with young people as well as information included in college and youth newsletters, youth clubs, Early Years settings, young carers and the Youth Parliament to urge young people to help ensure their voice is heard.

 


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