Community promised library building six months after council cuts service

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 June 2019

Long Ashton Community Centre.Picture: Google Street View

Long Ashton Community Centre.Picture: Google Street View

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A community looks set to get its library back after its building was closed by North Somerset Council due to budget cuts last year.

Long Ashton Library.Picture: Zak GhentLong Ashton Library.Picture: Zak Ghent

The Long Ashton Working Group has drafted plans to create a temporary structure at the village community centre in Keedwell Hill.

There are also talks of a permanent building replacing it next to Long Ashton Community Centre's cafe within five years.

The authority closed the village's original building in Lovelinch Gardens in December, and since then Long Ashton Parish Council set up its working group to create something permanent.

A statement from the group said: "Following an options appraisal, it has been decided the best site for the library is at Long Ashton Community Centre.

"This is planned to have two phases.

"At first, a temporary structure will be sited on the community centre site, probably opposite the café. An assessment of this is being conducted.

"This is planned to house the community library for three to five years while a permanent building is put in place.

"This is likely to be part of an expansion of the community centre.

"Early design work on this is being done by students from the University of the West of England.

"In addition, we are writing a business plan at the moment to capture all of this in more detail."

Since January, there has been a mobile service which visits the centre's car park two afternoons a week, on Tuesday from 2.30-4.30pm and Fridays from 9.30-11.30am.

A library questionnaire conducted by Long Ashton's council, which had more than 350 responses, concluded 76 per cent of people agreed the mobile service did not meet the needs of those living in the village.

In response, the authority upped the tax precept by eight per cent to the fund the library, after 87 per cent of people who took the survey said they would be happy to pay more if it funded the service.

A Long Ashton Community Centre spokesman said: "Our members and volunteers welcome the library to the community facility.

"We believe it will be beneficial to the community centre here in the village."

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