NORTH Petherton has hit the ground running with plans to keep the library running.

It was announced Somerset County Council has recommend closing 15 libraries in the county unless community partnerships form.

The cash-strapped council announced the changes in a bid to save more than £300,000. The final decision will be made on November 5.

North Petherton Library, which currently opens for three and a half days a week, faces closure at the end of December unless plans for a community partnership come forward.

SCC has given the libraries under threat the chance to keep it going, either as a community-managed and volunteer based service, or a community-funded and council-staffed service. A mix of the two would also be allowed.

The Friends of North Petherton Library had its inaugural meeting on Monday night (October 22) to gage enthusiasm to keep the service going. The meeting, attended by dozens of residents, ended with a committee in place to keep momentum going.

"This is D Day," said town mayor Alan Bradford. "It's great to see you all here."

"With effort and time we can make this work."

It was discussed running the library would be in the region of £26,000 a year - a free the town council would consider funding, at least initially.

Councillor Philip Spencer said: "We are looking at a 10 or 15 per cent increase in council tax precept to fund the library. Around 10 per cent of the population of North Petherton were using the library when the research was done.

"The council could support it for the first three years with a view to extend that. "Gaining charity status could reduce the cost but it does take time.

"The increase would be around £4 a year for D band houses."

Cllr Bill Revans said: "We can do this and we will do this.

"£26K is a lot to sustain on a long-term basis, give it three years of council support."

Looking at funding options with organisations and businesses such as EDF and Sedgemoor Borough Council was also discussed.

Supporters of the library hit a bump in the road over the idea of having to pay a membership fee.

Some attendees said this could prevent people wanting to sign up to help. The cllrs explained this was in place in order to get a register of people officially involved with the plans if they are to try to obtain charity status - but it was advise this could be done in different ways.

It was decided to remove any mention of a membership fee from the proposed constitution for the running of the library.

A committee of volunteers was elected at the meeting. Nigel Taylor volunteered to be chairman was Bernard Capaldi as vice chairman. Sarah Jervis volunteered to be secretary and Sherie-Anne Perry as treasurer.

Ivana Wilson, Alison Borman, Carole Taylor, Ruth Foster, Lorraine Burr, Derek Morris and Damien Baker volunteer to be committee members and Cllr Linda Hyde is the town council nominee.

The committee will now work on its proposal to submit to SCC by November 15. If the county council view the plans to have merit, they will allow the library to stay open until March 31 instead of closing at the end of the year.