Online petition started to keep Chipping Sodbury library open

February 28 2016

A PETITION has been started to save Chipping Sodbury’s library as a 12-week consultation exercise into the future of South Gloucestershire’s library service begins.

A PETITION has been started to save Chipping Sodbury’s library as a 12-week consultation exercise into the future of South Gloucestershire’s library service begins.
The library is at risk of closing as council leaders consider how to axe £640,000 from the service’s budget.
The mobile library is also in danger, with both libraries expensive to run for the number of people who use them.
But ruling Conservatives on South Gloucestershire Council said a number of measures were being considered which would not necessarily involve closing libraries.
They said the consultation involved looking at how savings could be made in “more creative, innovative and sustainable ways”, which could result in more community involvement.
Council leader Matthew Riddle said: We are eager to give communities greater input in our library services.
“There have been some amazing things done with libraries across the country, allowing services to be improved while also making a saving which can help us bolster other services.”
The online petition to save Chipping Sodbury library was started by Sodbury town councillor Juan Nuevo.
It says: “Chipping Sodbury library is an exceptionally well-run local community asset that provides services and a meeting point for all people in the town.”
It said it was accessible to all and especially useful to the elderly and families with young children.
Mr Nuevo said: “Removing community assets such as libraries can have a profound effect on the local area and should be strongly resisted.”
South Gloucestershire Conservative councillor for the town, Rob Creer, said: “I am opposed to the closure of Chipping Sodbury library and will support any efforts from any quarter to keep it open.
“However, my concern is that we must find a way to put our local library on a sustainable, long-term footing.”
Chipping Sodbury library’s annual running costs are £42,000. It has 1,236 members, with a cost per member of just under £34. But 1,042 of them also use other libraries, leaving only 194 unique members at a rate of £216 each.
The mobile library costs £80,000 a year to run and was used by 804 people in the last 12 months, meaning a rate per member of just under £100 a year. But 87 per cent of the users also visit a static library, leaving just 101 people who only use the mobile service, at a cost of £792 each.
Comments can be made by visiting www.southglos.gov.uk/consultations but the council said no changes would be made before October 2017.
Turn to Letters on page 18.