A public consultation is currently underway regarding the future of how Somerset County Council library services could be delivered across Somerset.
The consultation includes a set of proposals that seek to put the service on a sustainable footing for the long-term.
The current service is provided online through LibrariesWest Consortium, a mobile library, a Home Delivery service for customers unable to visit a library for themselves and through 34 library buildings in major town and villages.
As with many Authorities, Somerset County Council continues to face challenging financial times. Funds from central government reduce year on year whilst demand for services, such as adult and children’s social care, increase and all County Council services are considering efficiency and cost reduction options.
In summary, under the proposals, 15 of the 34 library buildings would be seeking community involvement to remain open. Where this is not possible, services would instead be provided either through outreach in community venues or through additional mobile library stops.
For 7 of the libraries, the County Council is consulting on two alternative options – either to seek community involvement to maintain library buildings or to keep existing library services as they currently are.
As part of this consultation Somerset County Council has asked Compass Disability Network to give disabled people and carers across Somerset a chance to find out more about the proposals and give your views at events taking place as follows:
|Compass Wellbeing, Unit 7 Belvedere Trading Estate, Taunton, TA1 1BH||Wednesday 11 April 2018
10.30am until 12.30pm
|Seavington Millenium Hall, Water Street, Seavington St Mary, Ilminster,
|Thursday 19 April 2018
2.00pm until 4.00pm
|Street Library, 1 Leigh Road, Street, BA16 0HA||Tuesday 24 April 2018
2.00pm until 4.00pm
Transport, care and communication support can be provided to enable you to attend these events. If you would like to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 01823 282823, Textphone 07568 109960 by Wednesday 4 April 2018.
Full details of the proposals and questionnaire are available to view online at http://somersetlibraries.co.uk/consultation/ until 13 June 2018. There are Somerset Library Service proposals available to view for 9 areas in total. Anyone taking part in the consultation will be asked to view the area of the library they visit most often before completing a questionnaire asking for views on the proposals.
If you are unable to attend any of the events and do not have access to a computer we can arrange to send you a copy of the questionnaire and proposals for your particular area. Each attendee will also receive information on the proposals prior to the event, together with directions for the venue in question.
Somerset Library Services representatives will be available at the events to explain the proposals, answer any questions, and help you to have your say.