Town council to take on library?

Nailsea Library

Nailsea Library - Credit: Archant

Nailsea Town Council is considering taking over its popular library to protect the service from cutbacks.

North Somerset Council revealed plans to move Nailsea’s library service to smaller premises earlier this year as part of a cost-saving measure.

But town councillors fear this will ‘greatly diminish’ the service and lead to its eventual closure due to a lack of footfall.

More: Fears library will close if it is relocated.

The authority is considering taking over the library and redeveloping the precinct around the building to revitalise the area.

Clerk Ian Morrell said: “The town council is still interested in talking to North Somerset Council about taking over the library building and taking over the library service but it hasn’t received any updates about its current plans or the future of the building.

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“It’s certainly a very high priority because the council is very concerned about making sure the library service doesn’t face any further cutbacks.”

The town council hopes to meet with North Somerset Council this week to find out whether it would be feasible to take on the building and service.

MORE: Council promises ‘there will still be library services in places’ where buildings could close.Cllr James Tonkin, who represents Nailsea for North Somerset, said: “We are waiting for further discussion with North Somerset to see what we can negotiate with them.

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“The main concern if the library service moves is it wouldn’t have the sort of impact it currently does and my thoughts are if it moves into a shop front it would greatly diminish the service.

“I’d like to see the whole of that end of the precinct redeveloped by Nailsea Town Council and others and the library kept where it is but supported by other things like a café.

“We want to revitalise that end of the precinct and make it vibrant as part of the town vision.”

Running costs such as staffing, maintenance and energy bills have been blamed for the proposed closure of the building.

The cuts also affect Clevedon library which could move to smaller premises and Long Ashton, where services would be provided by a mobile library.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We are continuing to have a positive dialogue with Nailsea Town Council regarding the future provision of library services within the town.”

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