Former MP Tessa Munt has this week hit out at Somerset County Council’s plans to close Highbridge Library.
The former Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge MP says the town’s library in Market Street is a “vital service that must not be allowed to close.”
She told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Given that the County Council’s Cabinet has this week decided to save Highbridge Children’s Centre from closure based on local need, surely the same criteria must apply to Highbridge Library and it must now be retained because of local need.”
“In addition to being an essential facility for local people, the computers at the library are especially vital, given that they are the only method of applying for jobs, housing and universal credit,” she said.
“Local people in the town should not have to travel to Burnham or Bridgwater libraries to use a computer.”
She also says Somerset County Council’s libraries consultation document is also ‘unfriendly and inaccessible’.
“The full consultation documents are huge – in total, it’s almost 65,000 words long, which at normal reading speeds will take the average person nine hours to read. The information is in a very unfriendly format which for such an important issue is ridicious.”
Last week, Burnham-On-Sea.com reported that a new campaign group called Save Highbridge Library was launched in a bid to try and halt the closure plans.
It comes as Somerset County Council says Highbridge Library could close under its cost-cutting proposals unless local volunteers are found to keep it open. The council says the cutbacks are expected to deliver between £300,000 and £520,000 of annual savings across Somerset.
The County Council’s proposals and questionnaire are available online during the consultation until April 22nd at www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation. Burnham-On-Sea.com