Time to rethink pay award?

WHEN North Somerset Council decided last month to close three village libraries, the public were assured that although the authority was shutting the buildings it would also be 'investing' in the service.

WHEN North Somerset Council decided last month to close three village libraries, the public were assured that although the authority was shutting the buildings it would also be 'investing' in the service.

Fresh news this week that the district's mobile library service will be halved will therefore come as a hammer blow to many.

Libraries are packed full of knowledge and opportunity - things to learn, things to enjoy, and facilities and resources to help people grow.

But for many, they are more than that. They are also a vital point of contact - a focal point for villages which have lost so many other resources.


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It's difficult to overstate their importance to their communities.

Times are hard, we know that. We are told as much each time the council makes another decision to cut nursery staff or outsource services.

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Indeed, it seems purse strings are being tightened in virtually every part of the council's budget - except, of course, for the councillors' own pay.

Debate on the huge rises that North Somerset members awarded themselves has raged for more than a year, but with so many other departments facing cuts, wouldn't it show a little sensitivity to revisit this decision now?

YOUNGSTERS get a lot of bad press.

They're an easy target when people are looking for someone to blame for incidents like noise, vandalism and petty crime.

Often, blame is attributed on the basis of little more than prejudice or assumption.

Yet this week's Mercury contains two stories which highlight the kind of selfless, positive behaviour which often gets overlooked in children.

Six-year-old Maisie Hannaford is fund-raising for the hospital which is caring for her poorly dad, and friends of 13-year-old Tom Stabbins are raising money to help buy him a prosthetic leg after his had to be amputated.

These youngsters are a credit to themselves, their families and their schools - Weston should be proud of them.

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