Congresbury Library plan may lead to council tax rise

PUBLISHED: 07:31 09 October 2016

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Congresbury Library looks increasingly likely to be given away by North Somerset Council to cut costs.

Congresbury Parish Council has confirmed it intends to take on the management of the village’s library in order to safeguard its future.

The library is one of several across the district which are part of a consultation process being carried out by North Somerset.

The end result of the consultation could see libraries and children’s centres in Yatton, Congresbury, Pill and Long Ashton merged or significantly changed, so the authority is able to save money. Changes to centres in Clevedon, Portishead and Nailsea will be put out for consultation next year.

However, Congresbury Parish Council has voted to ask North Somerset for permission to run the library.

The parish council estimates the library will cost about £4,000 per year to run, and would fund it by raising the council tax precept – but this would only amount to a £3 increase for a band D property each year.

A parish council report said: “North Somerset Council has confirmed the transfer would involve assigning furniture, fixtures and fittings, book stock and public access computers to the parish council.

“North Somerset would continue to buy book stock, allow volunteers limited access to the library management system, provide a reservation service and IT access to the public computers, recycle furniture, provide training for volunteers and parish council staff and provide access to library service staff.”

The report also confirmed North Somerset would continue to ensure library requirements would still be considered when grants from housing developers are made.

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