Threat to village's library

PILL library could be under threat of closure as part of moves to shave cash from council budgets. The village library is one of four coming under the spotlight after North Somerset Council leader Nigel Ashton ordered officers to identify savings of £900,

PILL library could be under threat of closure as part of moves to shave cash from council budgets.The village library is one of four coming under the spotlight after North Somerset Council leader Nigel Ashton ordered officers to identify savings of £900,000.The news that closing libraries across the district, cutting funding to voluntary groups and selling off other council run facilities could help make up the cash cuts, was revealed in a leaked email to the North Somerset Times.Members of a panel set up to help take care of the area's leisure facilities will hold a closed meeting later this month to consider the latest money-saving initiatives.News that Pill library could be one of the services under threat has sparked fury from village leaders.Pill councillor Nan Kirsen said: "I am totally opposed to this move as Pill has very few community facilities and to close one such as this which is well-used is ridiculous."We have a lot of people in the village, many of whom are elderly, which rely on the library."Many of these people don't have cars so what are the chances of them being able to get into Portishead to access the library there?"I understand budgets have to be looked at carefully but thought should given to reducing costs in other areas rather than penalising Pill which is already often thought of as a poor relation."Other community facilities under threat of the chop include Banwell, Worle and Congrebsury library, Weston-super-Mare's tourist centre and Playhouse theatre.Officers are also suggesting closing down the Ready4Work service, an initiative to help get people back into employment, in order to save about £60,000.The email said: "I am emailing you on behalf of your chairman, Cllr Webb, who would like to request a workshop session following straight on from the strategic planning and economic development (SPED) meeting on October 1. "The SPED panel meeting will come to a close and then the members of the panel will go into a closed session to discuss money saving initiatives. "Before this session please could you give some thought to areas where the council could be more efficient or save money. "Cllr Webb has asked me to circulate the drastic suggestions he has made for money saving ideas to spark debate."The email then went on to outline Cllr Webb's ideas.Cllr Webb said: "We will run through some possible ways to save money."They won't happen. We are just looking at possibilities.


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