Library to close for good today

PUBLISHED: 05:00 29 December 2018

Long Ashton Library

Long Ashton Library

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A village library will shut down today (Saturday) and be replaced by a twice-weekly mobile service in future.

Long Ashton is losing its library hub as part of cost-cutting measures introduced by North Somerset Council.

Cllr Felicity Baker, the executive member for libraries, said the authority could not afford to continue running the service from the centre in Lovelinch Gardens.

Long Ashton Parish Council is however continuing to investigate the possibility of setting up a community-led library at a new location in the village.

From January 8 the mobile library will visit the car park at Long Ashton Community Centre, in Keedwell Hill, every Tuesday afternoon from 2.30pm-4.30pm and every Friday morning from 9.30am-11.30am.

The library will close for the final time at 1pm today.

To offset the move, the North Somerset Council says spring ‘pop up’ library events and activities, such as storytimes and rhymetimes for younger children, will be held at venues in the village.

Councillors voted earlier this year to make financial savings of up to £260,000 from library services over the next couple of years.

With the lease on Long Ashton’s building having expired, the council elected not to renew it.

Cllr Baker said: “While we can no longer afford to lease the building, we are committed to continuing to provide library services for the residents of Long Ashton.

“I would like to thank residents for supporting the library service in Long Ashton and look forward to welcoming them to the mobile library or any other North Somerset library in 2019.”

The council says it took the decision after a seven-week consultation, adding ‘the majority of those who responded recognised the need for the council to make changes to the service in the light of the funding gap it was facing’.

As North Somerset is a member of the LibrariesWest consortium, villagers can borrow and return items to any library in the consortium, including Bristol.

A council spokesman said: “Any housebound residents in Long Ashton unable to use the mobile library or travel to another nearby library can sign up for the home library service where volunteers deliver books to homes once a month and then return them to the library.

“To sign up ring 01934 426657.”

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