Parish council rejects library move... after North Somerset Council buys new signs

PUBLISHED: 12:17 24 September 2017

Several new signs at Yatton Library will need to be replaced.

Several new signs at Yatton Library will need to be replaced.

Tom Wright

Fears over the future of Yatton Library have been downplayed by North Somerset Council despite it losing out on expected funding.

Thousands of pounds have been spent by the council overhauling the facility and moving the children’s centre into the High Street building.

It also expected Yatton Parish Council to move its office back into the new-look library, but members have instead voted to remain at Hangstones Pavilion, in a move which will cost North Somerset £85,000.

Such was North Somerset’s confidence the 10-year lease would be signed, new signs for the parish council’s office were put up inside and outside the library.

But parish councillors were concerned plans to introduce a self-service swipe card system at the library may impact on their staff’s safety and work.

However, the main motivation to stay at Hangstones is financial.

Cllr Robert Jenner said the annual £8,500 saving could fund improvements at Hangstones and still see the parish council save money.

Other councillors said it would make sense to have all staff in one building and Hangstones offers more parking.

Parish clerk Aleana Baird said facilities at Hangstones are better than when council staff moved to the library a decade ago.

Chairman Theresa Mullan led calls for the authority to return to the library as she had been told the rent money helps to provide a sustainable library service in the village.

However, her views were not shared by the majority of members who voted to stay at Hangstones, although it will aim to hold a regular surgery at the library.

A North Somerset spokesman said the two authorities will ‘continue to work together to help provide first-class services’.

He said: “The loss of income will not have a significant 
impact on the revenue budgets of either the library service or North Somerset Council generally, and there will be no need to make any further cuts or savings to library services in the village as a result.

“The room previously occupied by the parish council will initially be available for hire, but in the longer term the council will look to re-let the room.”

Interested parties can email the libraries manager at andy.brisley@n-somerset.gov.uk

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