Area 5: Chard, Crewkerne, Ilminster and Surrounding Area Proposal

Somerset Library Services Consultation 2018

Summary Proposal

Tell us your views on how we are proposing to deliver future library services in Chard, Crewkerne, Ilminster and surrounding area – Area 5 – Chard, Crewkerne, Ilminster libraries.

The map below shows the three existing library buildings (green pins) in Chard, Crewkerne and Ilminster and the existing mobile library stops (green dots) – 7 stops in this area per month.

© Mapbox
©Open street map contributers

  • The area includes the western part of South Somerset District.
  • It has a mixed urban and rural population (total pop. 43,853) The main towns are Chard (pop. 13,074), Crewkerne (pop.7,826) and Ilminster (pop. 5,808). Other sizeable communities include Tatworth to the south of Chard (pop. 2,259) and Merriot (pop. 1,979) to the north of Crewkerne.
  • Commercial bus services run between Chard and Ilminster and onwards to Taunton. Other bus services in the area are less frequent, but do connect Crewkerne with Chard and Yeovil, providing access into the towns from some of the surrounding villages. The area is reasonably well served by community transport, centred on Chard and Ilminster in the west, and generally serving Yeovil from the east of the catchment. The urban areas are small enough for walking and cycling access to town centres.
  • The south-western part of the area around Chard is some distance away from the major towns of Somerset, with drive times to Taunton and Yeovil of approximately 25 minutes. Crewkerne and Ilminster and their surrounding rural areas are nearer to Yeovil and Taunton respectively, with driving times of approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Levels of deprivation are relatively high in Chard, with one neighbourhood in the 20% most deprived nationally, and several other neighbourhoods with higher levels of deprivation than the average for Somerset. Less significant areas of deprivation also exist in Crewkerne and Ilton in the rural north of the area. Employment and income levels are higher than elsewhere in Somerset in many of the rural areas, with the exception of the rural district to the north of Ilminster where income is lower than the Somerset average. Crewkerne has a higher proportion of older people than the average for Somerset.
  • Educational attainment and school readiness also tends to be higher in the rural parts of the area, with pockets of low attainment in Chard and Crewkerne. Social isolation and digital exclusion are significant issues in Chard, with a smaller pocket of social isolation / digital exclusion in Crewkerne. The rural areas to the south of Chard and west of Ilminster also contain populations that are likely to be digitally excluded.
MetricChard LibraryCrewkerne LibraryIlminster Library
Catchment population27,50224,05113,132
Opening Hours per week31.52921.5
Active borrowers*2,6122,2621,141
Annual footfall85,71360,22324,980

*For definition of an active borrower, please see frequently asked questions

Further Detailed Information
Further evidence of need (including deprivation and usage), access to alternative libraries and value for money, which we have used to develop our proposals can be found here. The detailed impact assessments can also be found here.  We are seeking your views on all of this information, and would encourage you to look at this further detail.

Proposal options

The following options demonstrate the aim to keep as many library buildings as possible open. The options highlight, however, that for a number of libraries we may require community support to help us achieve this. We stress that library services will continue across Somerset, whatever the outcome of this consultation.

If we are unable to keep library buildings open in communities, we will deliver library services in other ways, such as through outreach (such as in alternative venues within communities), online or mobile library services.

Please now consider the following option proposals and complete the questionnaire, basing your answers on the library you visit most often.

Chard LibraryProposals
Option ANo change to existing library services.
Crewkerne LibraryProposals
Option ANo change to existing library services.
Option BProvide library services through a partnership with the local community to maintain a library building in Crewkerne (supported by some funding from the County Council).
Option CProvide library services by delivering outreach library services (events and activities for children and adults, and public internet access) and providing an additional mobile library stop in Crewkerne (at least twice a month). This would mean the closure of the current library building.
Ilminster LibraryProposals
Option ANo change to existing library services.
Option BProvide library services through a partnership with the local community to maintain a library building in Ilminster (supported by some funding from the County Council).
Option CProvide library services by delivering outreach library services (events and activities for young children, and health, wellbeing and reading activities for adults) and providing an additional mobile library stop in Ilminster (at least once a month). This would mean the closure of the current library building.

You can download the proposals for all of the areas here.