Campaigners who tried to save Highbridge Library from closure have spoken out as the facilities closed for the final time on Saturday (December 29th).

Cash-strapped Somerset County Council has cut funding to library services across the county and identified Highbridge Library should close.

It shut down on Saturday afternoon despite the efforts of a small group of residents opposed to the closure.

Sheila Forrester, a resident who helped run the ‘Save Highbridge Library’ campaign, told “This is a very sad day for Highbridge – we did our very best to save the library but it wasn’t going to happen and this is the final chapter.”

“This is a real loss for Highbridge as the town is set to grow exponentially housing-wise. Now there is no library, we’ll never get it back, which is a huge shame.”

Cllr Phil Harvey added: “I put a lot of effort into keeping it open, as have others, but I couldn’t get the backing of the town council so it has closed, unlike in 2011 when there was a good cross-party agreement to keep the library open at that stage following a judicial review.”

He also called into question the level of financial savings that the County Council is making from closing the library.

A poster put up on the door of the library informs library users of the decision to close the facilities.

The poster states: “Following a public consultation earlier this year, a decision was taken by Somerset County Council on 5 November to reduce the future funding of Highbridge Library.”

“The County Council invited expressions of Interest from the community for potential partners to continue services from a library building in Highbridge as a Community Library Partnership. No such Expression of interest was received and therefore Highbridge Library closed after opening hours on Saturday 29 December 2018.”

Pictured top: Sheila Forrester, Cllr Phil Harvey and David Pearce at Saturday’s ‘final chapter’ for Highbridge Library as it closed down



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