TWO threatened libraries in Sedgemoor were given a reprieve this week…but a third looks doomed.

North Petherton, Nether Stowey and Highbridge libraries were among 20 which faced losing funding in a Somerset County Council cost-cutting drive.

This week, the council revealed North Petherton and Nether Stowey would be given funding for another year, to give the communities time to find a way to run them, but Highbridge will lose all its county funding.

Ainslie Ensor, clerk to Nether Stowey Parish Council, said plans for a new community organisation to run the library had received widespread support in the village.

He said: “The idea is that the organisation would start in July this year and then take over to run the community library in January 2012, and the parish council would offer guidance and advice during this time.”

The Mercury has reported how North Petherton Town Council had agreed to put up its share of the council tax bill to keep the town's library running.

North Petherton Mayor Bill Revans said he welcomed the council's decision to provide funding for another year.

But Tessa Munt, MP for Highbridge, said: “Everything has been stripped out of Highbridge and this is just one more essential service that's being taken away, and why?”

Bridgwater and Burnham libraries will remain fully funded by the county council.

County councillor Christine Lawrence said a major consultation on library services had shown people recognised savings needed to be made, but wanted them to be shared out among all libraries, including those in bigger towns.

Somerset County Council will vote on the plans later this month.