Reduction in our council tax?

WE ARE writing to express our deepest concerns regarding the proposed closure of Banwell Library.

WE ARE writing to express our deepest concerns regarding the proposed closure of Banwell Library.

If the proposal goes ahead, can we (plus the residents of Congresbury and Backwell whose libraries are also threatened with closure) expect a reduction in our council tax to reflect the removal of a community facility?

A large proportion of library users are the elderly, a lot of whom would have great difficulty in travelling to a neighbouring village or town (in Banwell's case this would be Winscombe).

Public transport is expensive and infrequent plus in the society where we are now, we are encouraged to leave our cars at home to improve our 'carbon footprints'.

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Also some elderly and infirm people would find it too stressful to have to get on a bus and too expensive to get a taxi, and anyone who has got on a bus with a pushchair and toddlers/babies plus a heavy load of books would not recommend the experience.

I understand the mobile library would visit every fortnight, but this would surely mean that avid book readers would have to struggle to carry heavier loads of books, instead of being able to just pop into the library on a more frequent basis.

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The library in any small community is a place of contact for many people who live alone - for some it may be the only time they get to see anyone, and their visit to the library is more of a social activity.

Take this facility away and a lot of people who are unable to travel to the next nearest Library will become more isolated.

In Banwell, the librarians have built up very good relationships with the locals and come to know their likes and dislikes of books and are therefore more helpful than their more anonymous colleagues in larger libraries.

For some families who do not have a computer at home, the library is the only place they can access the internet or type letters, etc.

In the case of school children, who are more and more reliant on computers these days, they need computers to carry out research for school projects and homework.

Again, take away this facility and there will be a lot of people who will have to set aside more of their already limited time to go somewhere else. Will other libraries who are lucky enough to stay open increase their number of computers to reflect the increased use? I doubt it - it would mean less space and more expense.

I read in the latest edition of the Mercury that North Somerset Council has voted unanimously in favour of the closures.

It is also reported that the district councillor for Banwell, Tim Marter, is said to be 'disappointed' at the news of the closure.

Could someone please tell us whether Mr Marter was present when the voting took place, because if he was so disappointed, why was the vote unanimous and why didn't he vote against it?

Also, if Information Technology services are to be provided elsewhere in the village, surely this would mean almost as much expense as keeping the library open?

I am afraid the district councillors will be losing my vote unless they are seen to be more pro-active in supporting the very things they are elected for. It's no wonder voters are becoming more and more apathetic.

Banwell has already recently seen the closure of Vickery's butchers plus I understand there is a threat (again) of the post office closing - at this rate there will be very few places left anywhere in the village to shop.

The council seems only to be interested in saving money and not looking at the broader picture.

Our villages are slowly becoming anonymous due to the lack of community facilities and Banwell, which was once a thriving neighbourhood, is in danger of dying as a community and will merely be known only as a bottleneck for the horrendous amount of traffic.

What next? The closure of the primary school? Go on North Somerset Council, make everybody's lives a misery.


Orchard Close and West Street, Banwell

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