Libraries Redesign programme 2018

We are considering making some potential changes to the future delivery of library services across Somerset. Draft proposals setting out how we may deliver library services in future were the subject of a Public Consultation from January to June 2018. The results of the consultation are being taken into account in our decision-making.

Next Steps

A refreshed timeline set out below provides an indication of the process and timescales beyond the decision made by Cabinet on 5 November.

16 October – The consultation results and the recommendations on the library service re-design will be published. A link to the papers will be put on this page on that day.

24 October – The County Council’s Scrutiny Committee for Policy and Place will meet to consider and debate the recommendations

5 November – Following the Scrutiny Committee meeting, the Cabinet will meet to take a final decision on the recommendations about the library network and the future funding allocated to each library by Somerset County Council

Nov 2018 – Jan 2019 – Community Library Partnerships proposals to be developed following expressions of Interest being received from individual communities by the deadline in mid- November

Jan – April 2019 – Implementation of the Library Redesign Programme Decision

If you have any questions about the above timetable please email: or write to:

Libraries Service,
B3S, County Hall,

or contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.

Somerset County Council is fully committed to continuing to deliver thriving, modern library services across Somerset. As with many authorities, however, we continue to face challenging financial times. Somerset County Council received £90 million in 2013/14 from central government to support our services. This has reduced to just over £26 million for 2017/18 and is set to reduce to nothing by 2020/21. However, demand for services has increased, particularly in Adults and Children’s social care services. We have managed to reduce our libraries budget by 20% since 2011, whilst keeping all of our libraries open. Going forward, we may need to consider further changes in order to keep the libraries service on a sustainable financial footing.

Draft proposals and evidence published for the Libraries Consultation

To the right you can see more information about our draft consultation proposals and the evidence they were based upon.

Below is a map of Somerset showing nine proposal areas. Each pin indicates a library in that area. Click on the pin for the library you want to find out about and to open the consultation proposals.

Find out more

This is a map of Somerset showing nine proposal areas. Each pin indicates a library in that area. Click on the pin for the library you want to find out about and open the proposals on which the consultation was based.

Libraries where no major changes or options are proposed.

Libraries which could be affected, with more than one option proposed.

Libraries which could be affected with only one option proposed.

Area 1Porlock, Minehead, Watchet, Williton , Dulverton
Area 2Wiveliscombe, Wellington, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton and Priorswood
Area 3Burnham-on-Sea, Highbridge, Nether Stowey and North Petherton and Bridgwater
Area 4Langport, Somerton, Street and Glastonbury
Area 5Chard, Ilminster and Crewkerne
Area 6South Petherton, Martock, Yeovil, Sunningdale and Milborne Port
Area 7Castle Cary, Bruton and Wincanton
Area 8Frome
Area 9Cheddar, Wells and Shepton Mallet