Public consultation over council’s latest cost-cutting plan

The Town Hall in Weston-super-Mare.

The Town Hall in Weston-super-Mare. - Credit: Archant

Plans by North Somerset Council to potentially close Worle Library and merge children’s services will go out to public consultation today (Friday).

North Somerset Council, as previously reported by the Mercury, hopes to save about £500,000 by altering the community services.

It is launching a 12-week consultation from today after unveiling last month a raft of possible changes.

Options under consideration including closing Worle Library - although that is one of four being debated.

The council is also contemplating changes to its children centres, including finding a bigger space for the Weston service, which is currently based in Meadow Street.

In other possible changes, Yatton’s children’s centre could merge with the Yeo Moor centre in Congresbury and Winscombe Library could be remodelled.

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The council has contacted key community and voluntary groups to offer their opinions on the proposals but the public will also be given a say.

Cllr Felicity Baker, the council’s executive member for libraries, emphasised that no decisions have been made at this stage.

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She said: “If we are to continue to provide good quality services in our communities at a price we can afford, we need to be delivering those services in a different way, such as co-locating libraries and children’s centres where it is feasible to do so.

“A number of options have been identified, but further options may emerge as part of the consultation process. I welcome residents coming forward with ideas to help ensure the future of these highly valued services.”

A report on the feedback from the consultation will go to the council’s executive panel in December for a final decision, with any changes implemented from April to July 2017.

This review is being held in two phases with village services being considered now and towns’ to be discussed in the months to come.

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