Libraries could close as council cuts back

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 December 2010 | UPDATED: 11:52 21 December 2010

Both Cheddar and Highbridge libraries could shut

Both Cheddar and Highbridge libraries could shut

Archant

TWO Somerset libraries could be forced to shut after the county council proposed to cut their funding.

If their communities fail to take up the option of running them without council funding, Highbridge and Cheddar libraries will close.

With the council looking to make a 25 per cent saving on its current £5.4million library service budget, the two town’s libraries will now need their communities to club together to run them.

Highbridge and Cheddar’s libraries are two of 20 libraries across Somerset which are set to lose their funding from the county council.

The council has not said how many staff would be affected by the closures, but are hopeful that some staff wages would be covered by communities were they to take up the option of funding the libraries.

Highbridge’s library is one of the worst performing facilities in the county, with Burnham town council being told it was likely to close at a meeting last month.

Burnham’s library is one of 14 facilities which will remain funded by the council, but is set to have a 10 per cent reduction in its opening hours.

Somerset County Council will now consider the proposals at a meeting of its cabinet in February.

The council is holding a consultation event at the Princess Hall in Burnham on January 4 from 11am-2pm.

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