The future of Wellington’s library is once again under discussion at Somerset county council, just four years after the last major review into the library service – which has just been told to cut £500,000 or 12% from its budget in the coming financial year.
Town clerk Greg Dyke reported to the town council after a meeting with SCC officials that “it became clear that the county council would be looking for ‘community support’ to keep Wellington library open.
“This could involve help from volunteers or some kind of contribution from the town council. The discussion also encompassed thoughts around reducing staff hours, community asset transfer, or co-location.”
The latter idea of placing key community services in the same building drew a comment from Cllr Andrew Govier. “In most towns you would have a library 75 yards from a Tourist Information Office and a Community Office,” he said.
Fellow councillor Marcus Barr went further and suggested that Wellington should raise its share of the council tax shared between town, district and county in order to be able to help fund the library. “In a town of this size the precept should be at least £100 a year,” he said. “We either help or we do nothing.” The current precept is around £40 per household per year.