Backwell library service to close

A LIBRARY service, which has been operating from a leisure centre in Backwell since its building closed in 2010, is to be cancelled due to lack of use.

The parish council voted not to renew the library access point, which was costing council tax payers �540 a year, as from April, at a meeting on Thursday.

Parish councillor Bob Day told the meeting ‘usage is very low’, saying most residents used it to drop off books when they went swimming but only at a rate of 0.14 items per hour.

He said villagers travelled to Nailsea to choose their literature because the selection in the Farleigh Road centre is ‘minimal’.

He added people preferred to use the mobile library service, which has a ‘bigger selection’ and proposed the council vote to replace the current system with the van.

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And councillors agreed that a public access computer there was not being used because it is ‘too slow’.

North Somerset councillor Karen Barclay, who helped set up the access point in July 2010, said it would be a shame to lose the service which was ‘not as successful as we hoped’ but said this will be ‘a compromise’.

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The mobile library, which currently visits the leisure centre on Mondays from 2-5pm, is due to be modernised, with newer technology and an up-to-date computer but it is not known if it will be available at additional times.

The Times reported in August 2010 that North Somerset Council shut the underused Station Road library as part of a cost-cutting review, along with ones in Congresbury and Banwell.

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