Library users in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge have welcomed the announcement from Somerset County Council that it has no plans to close any of its libraries.

The authority announced proposals on Monday (October 6th) to make savings of almost £500,000 from its service.

It is looking at restructuring management and phasing out the lending of CDs. The future of mobile libraries is also under consideration.

A paper is going to Somerset County Council’s Cabinet on 22nd October exploring a range of proposals, which will see no library buildings close but will make savings.

If approved, the proposals will then go out for formal consultation at the beginning of November when the public will have a chance to comment before any decisions are made.

Previous proposals of communities becoming responsible for the running of libraries to reduce costs are not part of the new plans.

Proposals include seeing wi-fi installed in all libraries across the county, outreach services expanded for those who cannot visit a library, phasing out the lending of CDs, making changes to how the Performing Arts Library Service is delivered and introducing criteria for stops on the mobile library route.

Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries, said: “These proposals will enable us to provide a good quality library service, whilst potentially saving the Council nearly £500,000. As the proposals show, there are still tough decisions to make, but I want to stress we have no plans to close any library buildings. These proposals will support us in keeping them open for all to enjoy.”

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