MORE cutbacks are on the cards after Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council had millions of pounds slashed from their Government funding.

Following the Comprehensive Spending Review in October, the Coalition announced last Monday how much each individual local authority would have its funding cut.

Somerset County Council said it was set to lose £16million in Government funding but fears the figure could run into millions more.

The council has confirmed funding for 20 libraries throughout Somerset will be pulled, including North Petherton, Nether Stowey and Highbridge, though Bridgwater and Burnham are among 14 which will not be hit.

Sedgemoor District Council said it was set to lose £1.2million in Government funding next year.

The council's grant is to be cut by 13.8% but a spokesman said the figure is likely to rise to 18.4% taking into account “inflationary pressures” - more than had been planned for.

It means the council will have to find an extra £445,000 to save in its budget as well as having to contend with a further £1million gap in its finances next year.

The district council is looking at measures including reducing the number of hours during which its CCTV cameras are monitored, and asking parish councils to fund “discretionary” services, like dog bins and public toilets, if they want to keep them.

Both councils will make final decisions on their cost-cutting measures in February.

A CONSULTATION event into the proposed library service changes will take place at the Princess Hall in Princess Street, Burnham, on Tuesday, January 4, from 11am until 2pm.

GLEN Burrows of the Bridgwater Trade Union Councils said she was relieved Bridgwater Library was not having its funding cut, but was disappointed the same was not true for North Petherton.

She said: “The people of North Petherton should be saying we need a proper library in place. No disrespect to volunteers, but what if they are off sick? Will the library close?"

NORTH Petherton Mayor Bill Revans said of the library funding: “I am determined that this will not mean the closure of a valuable community resource - this shows an appalling lack of regard for the smaller communities in the county and will hit the most vulnerable the hardest."

"Local people need to rally round to let the county council know how we feel about this decision and make sure that our feelings are known in the brief period of consultation in January.”

HIGHBRIDGE councillor Derick Cooper said: “It's very disappointing that everything seems to be disappearing from Highbridge and it is the children who use the library I am most concerned about.

“I appreciate the county council has to make savings but maybe they should reinvest in other areas to lessen the blow.”

NETHER Stowey Parish Council says it is willing to take over running of the village's historic library - which used to be a school - but warns its council tax precept could rise by up to 30%.

The council was due to hold a special meeting last night (Monday) to discuss the library's future.

ALL 14 fixed speed cameras in Somerset are set to be switched off after the county council said it could not afford to take over the running costs from police.

The authority said mobile cameras will still operate and the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme is also expected to be available.