William Eichler 08 April 2019

Somerset council signs six ‘community library partnerships’

Somerset County Council signed six ‘community library partnerships’ last week in a move that will help maintain library services in the face of cuts.

Last year, the council agreed to retain 19 of its existing libraries and to seek help from volunteers and community groups to run 15 other library buildings.

Two of these libraries were closed last December when no one volunteered to run them.

However, last week the county council agreed to run six libraries with local groups in Bruton, Nether Stowey, North Petherton, Somerton, Watchet and Wiveliscombe from 1 April.

‘This week marks a hugely important and welcome milestone for Somerset’s Libraries Service,’ said David Hall, cabinet member with responsibility for libraries at Somerset County Council.

‘It’s great news so many Community Library Partnerships were signed and I’d like to thank everyone for all their hard work, dedication and commitment in bringing this about.

‘We look forward to working closely with our partners to deliver libraries services together in these communities going forward.’

A Friends of Somerset Library spokesperson said: ‘Friends of Somerset Libraries have been engaging and challenging Somerset County Council throughout the review of library services.

‘We are pleased to see that six Community Library Partnerships are being announced today.

‘The communities that have stepped up to keep their libraries open are to be congratulated and we are further pleased that most will continue to provide a service with trained staff rather than relying on volunteers.’

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