7:10am Sunday 15th May 2011
A CAMPAIGNER fighting to save Watchet's library from closure said she is “insulted” by the grant Somerset County Council is offering libraries facing closure.
Jan Simpson-Scott, a spokesman for the Watchet Library Friends said the £5,000 one-off grant being offered by the authority is “a drop in the ocean” given the annual £20,000 running cost of the town's library.
She said: “We all accept cuts have to be made but why pick on libraries?
“Children are the future after all and they need libraries because their education is vital.
She added: “The elderly in Watchet cannot afford to go to Williton's library.
“It's a long journey for older people and many of them cannot access public transport because they are disabled.“While some of my colleagues have referred to the grant as a sweetener I fell very insulted by it.”
Porlock's library is also under threat of closure and the parish's council chairman Alan Wright agreed the cash was not going far enough.
He said: “It does not remove the long-term problem we've got.”
Communities which commit themselves to running libraries threatened with closure could be entitled to the £5,000 grant.
The county council revealed an extra £30,000 to help finance the continued running of the libraries no longer funded by the authority.
Six of the county's 34 libraries could be offered to their communities to run in October with a further five libraries offered next April.
The extra money has come from savings suggested by library support group Friends of Glastonbury Library.
These include cutting back on non-ICT office equipment, furniture replacements, photocopying, postage and stationary.
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