Parish council set to take over under-threat village library?

Congresbury Library could be closed under North Somerset Council's proposals.

Congresbury Library could be closed under North Somerset Council's proposals. - Credit: Archant

A parish council is considering taking on the running of its village’s library in order to prevent it from possibly being closed or merged.

Congresbury Library is one of several children’s centres and libraries which could be closed or merged into single buildings as part of money-saving plans proposed by North Somerset Council.

The plans are out for public consultation until September 30 and although the council says it has not made firm decisions about possible closures or mergers, Congresbury Parish Council is already exploring the option of taking on the village library in Station Road.

Parish councillors met with members of North Somerset’s libraries team to discuss the ideas, and they say the council’s team is estimating how much the parish council would need to spend to keep the library up and running.

Parish council chairman Di Hassan told a meeting of the council on Monday: “They (North Somerset) are very keen for the library to continue in the village, but how it will continue and in what way they do not know as of yet. It depends on whether we can find enough volunteers to run it as a voluntary library.

“It also depends on services, because it is no good running it without full access to services.

“One of the benefits would be that we can have full use of it. We can only use it when the library is open (at the moment). They are quite happy for us to have our own key to it and we can use the building at other times.

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“I think, for the council, there is a benefit to updating the room in some way and getting greater use of the building. We could have it as a village asset, rather than a building which is only used for 15 hours a week and is just sitting there otherwise.”