MP Tessa Munt has urged residents in Highbridge to make their views known about the threatened closure of the town’s library as Somerset County Council begins a period of consultation about its future.
Burnham-On-Sea.com was first to report last month that the library in Market Street is being considered for closure by the council as part of its multi-million pound budget cuts.
However, it has since said that no final decision will be made about the building’s future until February 2011 at the earliest.
County Council spokeswoman Elizabeth Kulh told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Three months of consultation are underway and no decision on Highbridge Library will be made until February at the earliest.”
The council has previously said that Highbridge Library is among the worst performing libraries in Somerset by visitor numbers, therefore making it difficult to sustain.
But MP Tessa Munt told Burnham-On-Sea.com outside the library: “The facilities here are used by many different people, not just book readers, and it would be awful – and unnecessary – to see them close.”
“Residents can make their views known about the threat of closure by contacting the County Council direct or filling in one of the comment cards at the library. I feel that services like this should not be lost.”
Highbridge councillor Cllr Joe Leach added: “Closing our town library would be disastrous for Highbridge. It would be another valuable facility gone.”
Town councillor Cllr Janet Keen recently said the library’s opening hours have not helped its visitor numbers. “The decreased hours are having a spiral effect of reducing the usage, thus inadvertently providing the perfect excuse for closure.”
Cllr Chris Williams added: “The County Council needs to carefully consider the socio-economic implications of considering its closure. Highbridge really needs a library – it can’t close.”
Pictured above are Tessa Munt and Joe Leach outside Highbridge Library holding several of the comment forms which residents can fill in