Opening hours at Burnham-On-Sea Library have been cut by a fifth from today (Monday October 17th) under a cost-cutting programme by Somerset County Council.

Burnham Library in Princess Street is seeing its opening hours reduced as part of the council’s spending cuts.

The library is now open 7.6 hours a week less than the previous schedule, with its hours reduced on every day except Saturdays, while Monday’s hours have been reduced to a half day.

The new opening hours are: Mondays 10am-1pm (previously 9.30am-5pm); Tuesdays 10am-5pm (previously 9.30am-5pm); Wednesdays 10am-1pm (previously 9.30am-1pm); Thursdays 10am-5pm (previously 9.30am-5pm); Fridays 10am-5pm (previously 9.30am-6pm); and Saturdays 9.30am-1pm (previously 9.30am-1pm).

The council has justified the changes by saying Burnham Library’s footfall first thing in the morning is low and that the facilities are ‘underused’ on Fridays after 5pm. It also claims that closing on Monday afternoons will minimise the impact of the reduced hours on the library’s busiest days.

The council has also said that Burnham Library is due to have new self-service facilities installed during 2012, which may lead to fewer staff. The proposals were first announced earlier this year.

The county council’s cabinet member for community services, Councillor Christine Lawrence, said: “As with all services, the decision to reduce budgets for libraries has been very tough but is necessary because of the Council’s financial position. We need to provide the best service we can within the resources we have.”

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