Petition launched to keep library open

Worle Library.

Worle Library. - Credit: Archant

A petition has been launched in protest to the potential closure of a library building.

The Mercury reported last week how North Somerset Council plans to save £500,000 as part of a review of its libraries and children’s centres.

This could involve some children’s centres and library buildings closing and being merged together under one roof, with services in Worle, Winscombe, Congresbury and Yatton the first to be reviewed.

Raye Green has created the Worle Library Defence Group to try to persuade the council to keep the Worle library, which is based in The Maltings, open in its current format.

She said: “I have a particular interest in Worle Library, which is a key hub to the community, especially for the vulnerable. Our elderly population, young families and schools all rely upon this heart of the community facility.”

The council has no detailed plans about how it will change individual services, and its officers are talking to service-users about what could happen.

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Mandy Bishop, the council’s assistant director for operations, said although buildings will close, it does not mean communities will lose their services.

Cllr Felicity Baker, who has responsibility for community services, said: “At the end of this review some services may look different.

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“There are likely to be additional co-located libraries and children’s centres and more closer working with partners such as the police and health colleagues.”

More than 200 people have signed the Worle Library petition.

Commenting on it, Katy Blake said: “Libraries are an essential resource for the whole community, providing a place of learning and joy for all ages.”

Pat Hase said: “As volunteers from our local Family History Society will be offering regular free help sessions in Worle Library from May 26, its closure would seem a sadly retrograde step.

“In my experience people value a library for so many different reasons not least the social contact but also the sense of achievement when a piece of research is successful.”

The council’s executive will hear more detailed proposals in June, after which there will be a wider public consultation.

Visit to see the petition.

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