Opening hours at North Somerset libraries to change

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 June 2017

Pill Library

Pill Library

Archant

Cuts to library opening hours will be introduced this weekend.

The reductions are part of North Somerset Council’s community access review which will see library services across the district merge with children’s centres.

Portishead, Pill and Nailsea libraries will all see a reduction in weekly opening hours when the changes come into force on Sunday.

The changes will be followed by the introduction of a self-service swipe card system called Open+ which will be installed at six libraries – including Portishead, Long Ashton, Yatton and Clevedon – later in the year.

The scheme will mean opening hours will increase, with library members able to gain access to the library using a card given to them after an induction. The council says this will give library members more ‘flexibility’.

Councillor Felicity Baker, executive member responsible for libraries, said: “This will give people greater choice in how and when they use the library service.

“They may prefer to visit during hours when staff are available or during the unstaffed self-serve Open+ hours for greater flexibility.”

The council hopes the community access review will save it about £500,000 each year while still allowing it to retain most of the services in the district.

One of the ways it aims to do this is by re-locating children’s centres in Pill and Yatton – based at Crockerne Primary School and High Street respectively – to the libraries.

Pill Library, in Underbanks, has been closed since April while the building’s interior is refurbished and a new outdoor play area is created. It is due to reopen on July 11.

The village’s Salvation Army base, in Heywood Road, has offered a temporary pop-up library during the closure.

Yatton Library has also been closed since April and is not expected to reopen until August.

Management of library services in Congresbury is also being transferred to the parish council.

To see the new opening hours in full, visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/car

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