Village library to shut doors next week
A VILLAGE library is set to close next week.
North Somerset Council announced last year it was considering closing Banwell Library, along with others in Congresbury and Backwell, as it sought to save millions from its budget.
Now, despite a campaign by villagers and Banwell Youth Council – which saw youngsters and residents march to the nearest alternative library in Winscombe, about two miles away – the council has announced the village library will close next Friday.
The authority says visits to Banwell Library since a review of its services was launched in 2009 have reduced by 58 per cent.
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The closure date has been agreed at the same time as the council plans to carry out significant repairs and improvements to Winscombe Library.
People wanting to use the library service will either have to travel to Winscombe or rely on the authority's mobile library service.
The review has also seen the closure of Backwell library, and Congresbury library taken over by volunteers and financially supported by the parish council.
However in other towns, including Portishead, cash has been ploughed into services, with a new library opening at Horatio House in April.
Weston-super-Mare Library will move out of its current base at The Boulevard and relocate to the newly refurbished Town Hall in the autumn.
North Somerset Council executive member for libraries, Felicity Baker, said: "Planning is under way and we are close to a property solution for Winscombe.
"Although this will not be finalised or sorted during the next two months we are confident that we have found a solution that represents value for money and improves the facilities for the long term."
From September 6 the mobile library will visit Banwell's West Street car park between 2pm and 5pm each Thursday.
Computer facilities will remain available at Banwell Children's Centre, along with access to other local libraries such as Worle and the Campus which has recently extended their opening hours.
Banwell Library members can continue to benefit from the Libraries West Partnership, which gives them access to over 100 libraries along with ability to request and renew online.
All books can be requested this way and arranged to be picked up from the mobile library.
Housebound residents can also use a home library delivery service.
More information about the Banwell Library closure and how residents can access the library service is available at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/banwelllibraryFAQs