Council cuts threaten libraries in Highgate and Somerset

The future of Highgate Library is being questioned after Camden Council announced it will be cutting two thirds of the library's budget. Meanwhile libraries in North Somerset are closing their doors as their local authority looks to save money.

The north London authority is cutting £110,000 from the £163,000 budget, and is looking at solutions such as leasing part of the building to make up the shortfall. The Friends of Highgate Library have joined a working group to come up with ways of raising money to keep the library open.

Meanwhile, in North Somerset, Banwell Library will be shut for good next Friday, despite attempts from the local community to save it. Campaigners organised a march from the town to the next nearest library in Winscombe, two miles away, to show how vital the local service was.

But North Somerset Council has announced the library will be replaced with a mobile library service, following a review first begun in 2009.

Since the review started, Backwell Library has also closed, while Congresbury Library has been taken over by volunteers, helped by parish council funding.

North Somerset Council will also be closing the central library in Weston-super-Mare today, with its stock being moved to the town hall where a new combined facility will open on 1st October.

The original Grade II listed building, which was erected in 1897 to commemorate the jubilee of Queen Victoria, has been put up for sale with an asking price of £350,000.