Consultation on closure and merger of North Somerset libraries and children’s centres

Long Ashton Library. Most likely option: Keep library as it is but undertake service review.

Long Ashton Library. Most likely option: Keep library as it is but undertake service review. - Credit: Archant

People across North Somerset have the chance from today (Friday) to comment on plans to change libraries and children’s services.

Yatton Library will not close but Congresbury's might.

Yatton Library will not close but Congresbury's might. - Credit: Archant

North Somerset Council, as previously reported by the Times, hopes to save about £500,000 by altering the community services.

It is launching a 12-week consultation from today after unveiling last month a raft of possible changes.

Options under consideration including merging children’s centres in Yatton and Congresbury and even possibly closing libraries in Long Ashton and Congresbury.

Nailsea Library's facility is likely to move to Scotch Horn Leisure Centre.

Nailsea Library's facility is likely to move to Scotch Horn Leisure Centre. - Credit: Archant

The first phase of the community access review will focus on Yatton, Congresbury, Pill and Long Ashton, but changes such as reducing the size of Clevedon Library, moving Nailsea’s facility to Scotch Horn and reviewing the Portishead service will also be under consideration in the coming months.

The council has contacted key community and voluntary groups to offer their opinions on the proposals but the public will also be given a say.

Cllr Felicity Baker, the council’s executive member for libraries, emphasised that no decisions have been made at this stage.

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She said: “If we are to continue to provide good quality services in our communities at a price we can afford, we need to be delivering those services in a different way, such as co-locating libraries and children’s centres where it is feasible to do so.

“A number of options have been identified, but further options may emerge as part of the consultation process. I welcome residents coming forward with ideas to help ensure the future of these highly valued services.”

A report on the feedback from the consultation will go to the council’s executive panel in December for a final decision, with any changes implemented from April to July 2017.