Fifteen Somerset libraries could be closed

Fifteen libraries could be closed in Somerset. Credit: ITV News

Fifteen libraries are at risk of closing as part of budget cuts in Somerset, unless volunteers come forward to save them.

The County Council has said up to £500,000 could be saved by the plans which may involve more mobile libraries and alternative venues.

Campaigners have told ITV News they hope solutions can be found to keep as many services as possible.

In 2011, Somerset and Gloucestershire County Councils were blocked from withdrawing funding from some libraries by a High Court judge.

Campaigners took the legal action saying it was unfair on disadvantaged people.

John Irven was involved in that legal action. He lives in Watchet which has one of the libraries that could close without public help.

John Irven was involved in the 2011 legal action. Credit: ITV News

Many say the library in Watchet would be a big loss if it goes.

Locals claim that many young families use the library. Credit: ITV News

Somerset County Council's proposal affects twenty two libraries right across the county - from Porlock in the west to Bruton in the east.

Fifteen could close completely and all have been earmarked to be kept open through potential partnerships with people living in the local community.

The council says no decisions have been made yet. They want feedback from people before that happens.

It's not just in Somerset that libraries have been threatened. Bristol City Council last year announced plans to close twenty seven of them leading to huge public opposition.

In Somerset the council believes the public could be the key to keeping library services if not permanent library buildings in places like Watchet going forward.

The council says no decisions have been made yet. Credit: ITV News