More chance to have your say on Somerset libraries

Somerset residents will have an extra seven weeks to share their views on the County Council’s proposals for its libraries.

The closing date for the consultation has been extended from Sunday 22 April to Wednesday 13 June after listening to feedback from the public, partners, Councillors and communities.

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Development at Somerset County Council, made the decision today to give communities more time to help plan for the possible future delivery of library services.

In response to a number of requests, further information on what a ‘Community Library Partnership’ and ‘Library Outreach Services’ could mean for library users is also now available, the questionnaire updated and based on the library respondents visit most often (rather than an area), and extra detail added to the proposals.

Following today’s decision, the additional information and updated questionnaire will be available online at www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation and in all Somerset libraries from Wednesday 21 March.

Cllr David Hall said: “Thank you to all those who have responded so far – that feedback has been recorded and will be taken into account.

“It’s important to us and it’s important to you that we make our library service sustainable for the future. You said you wanted more time to consider the proposals, more information and we have listened.

“We will make decisions only when we are confident we have as detailed a picture as possible on how our proposals could affect you, your family and your community. Giving you more information and more time will help both you and us achieve this.”

All responses to the consultation submitted before Wednesday 21 March will be fully considered by decision makers, but those who have already shared their views are encouraged to review the additional information online at www.somerset.gov.uk/librariesconsultation and in any Somerset library.

If you have any further comments you’d like to make after reviewing this supplementary information, please email librariesmail@somerset.gov.uk. Alternatively, write to Libraries Consultation 2018, B3S, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY or contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.

Ends

For further information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

  • A link to the decision paper is available here http://democracy.somerset.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?Id=682
  • Starting at the end of January, the library services consultation asks members of the public to review an area proposal based on the library they visit most often.
  • In total, nine area proposals are available to view covering proposals for each of Somerset’s 34 libraries.
  • The proposals show that for 12 libraries, there will be no change to the delivery of library services. These libraries include Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Chard, Frome, Glastonbury, Langport, Minehead, Taunton, Wells, Williton, Wincanton and Yeovil.
  • For 15 libraries, community support may be required to keep library buildings open. These include Bishops Lydeard, Bruton, Castle Cary, Highbridge, Milborne Port, Nether Stowey, North Petherton, Porlock, Priorswood (Taunton), Somerton,South Petherton, Street, Sunningdale (Yeovil), Watchet and Wiveliscombe.
  • The proposals also highlight that seven library buildings may remain unchanged or may require community support to remain open. These include Cheddar, Crewkerne, Dulverton, Ilminster, Martock, Shepton Mallet and Wellington.