on Highbridge Library's future to be announced in October
future of closure-threatened Highbridge Library will be announced
in October, Somerset County Council has announced this week.
of the 'Save Highbridge Library' campaign face a long wait for the
final news on its fate.
County Councils Scrutiny Committee heard at a meeting on Tuesday
(July 10th) that 7,015 Somerset residents and organisations have
taken part in a 19-week library service consultation this year.
results of the library consultation will now be fully analysed over
the summer with a detailed report published in September.
on the future of Somersets library service are due to be published
on 27th September with a final decision taken by Somerset County
Councils Cabinet on 17th October.
on the Cabinet decision, where expressions of interest are received
from individual communities, Community Library Partnership proposals
may be developed and agreed between November 2018 and March 2019.
Implementation of the library redesign programme is expected to
start early next year.
David Hall, Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries at
Somerset County Council, said: "I want to thank everyone who
completed the survey or took time to write in; weve been given
a huge wealth of views and information including many responses
from primary school aged children setting out how much they love
high number of responses and the efforts that people all over the
County have put into the process reinforces what we already knew.
Library services are just as important to you as they are to us."
are proud of our library services, but as a Council we also have
to live within our means at a time of unprecedented pressure on
all our budgets."
stress that whatever the recommendations for Somersets library
services will be going forward, communities will continue to have
access to quality library services."
County Council started its formal public consultation on 29th January,
asking residents and organisations to consider proposals for each
of Somersets 34 libraries.
Mid-March the consultation was extended to provide communities with
additional information and more time to give their responses.
proposals set out that for 12 libraries, there will be no change
to the delivery of library services. These libraries include Bridgwater,
Burnham-On-Sea, Chard, Frome, Glastonbury, Langport, Minehead, Taunton,
Wells, Williton, Wincanton and Yeovil.
15 libraries, community support may be required to keep library
buildings open. These include Bishops Lydeard, Bruton, Castle Cary,
Highbridge, Milborne Port, Nether Stowey, North Petherton, Porlock,
Priorswood (Taunton), Somerton,South Petherton, Street, Sunningdale
(Yeovil), Watchet and Wiveliscombe.
decisions have been taken, and wont be taken until the County
Councils Cabinet meets in October. Where the Cabinet decides
that library buildings would only remain open with community support,
communities will have an opportunity to submit an expression of
interest to operate the library building in partnership with the
County Council (a Community Library Partnership).