A NEW Friends of North Petherton Library group has been set up to help North Petherton Town Council ensure that the town’s library remains open.

The initiative was agreed at a public meeting to respond to Somerset County Council’s consultation exercise as part of its review into the future of the library service, which many believe could result in widespread closures across the county.

At the public meeting mayor Cllr Alan Bradford stated that the town council had provided financial support for several years in order to maintain opening hours, but the town’s library was now under renewed threat of closure.

Local councillors continued to uphold their commitment to do whatever they could to keep the library open, but the local community needed to demonstrate its support and work with the council not only to retain the current level of service, but also to extend opening hours and increase the range of activities that took place.

A steering group of the new 'Friends of North Petherton Library' was formed to work with the Town Council’s team of Cllr Linda Hyde, Cllr Bill Revans and Cllr Alan Bradford to take the initiative forward.

A spokesman for North Petherton Town Council said: "The steering group's first task was to make it clear to the County Council that it should not cut back on a service that was valued and needed by local people not only now, but more so in the future as the impact of the major developments in the area was felt."

The next step was the urgent task of setting up the group so that all the volunteers could work with the local authorities to ensure that a vibrant and successful library service was provided for the community.

Anyone wanting to join the Friends should contact the Town Council’s clerk at townclerk@nptc.info.