A SOUTH Somerset resident is fuming after claims he called on his MP to take a stand on the future of the county’s library services – but he received no response.

Peter Hill, who lives near Chard, wrote a letter to MP Marcus Fysh on January 28 to say he was ‘horrified’ to discover that nine libraries could be shut later this year, including Ilminster.

In his letter, Mr Hill said: “I was horrified to read this week that Somerset County Council is contemplating the closure of up to nine libraries in the county.

“This is cultural barbarism.

“It is no defence to say the budgets are squeezed – they always are, and there are other areas where savings can be found – but libraries make books available to everybody.”

Mr Hill also raised a legitimate defence of libraries.

He added: “They make listening tapes of books available to the blind. They make large print books available to the partially sighted.

“They make Kindle-type books available to those who need a well-lit source. And they provide reference and computer sources to many, like me, who do research, and sometimes need books to be ordered and brought from another library.”

Five weeks on from sending his letter to MP Fysh, Mr Hill is furious and says he has still not received a response.

He told the News: “He gets paid £76,000. He gets extra expenses for office staff and travel, and he can claim up to £9,000 a year for stamps and envelopes, so it is not even like he has to dig into his own pocket to send me a reply.

“We elected him, we pay him and he can’t even be bothered to reply on a serious matter affecting his constituency.

“What is he for if not to represent his constituents?”

Marcus Fysh MP has been contacted for a comment but he had not replied by the time the Chard and Ilminster News went to print.