A SOUTH Somerset village has hit out after the county council announced the library will be shut if they cannot help fund it themselves.

Councillors and residents of South Petherton have slammed Somerset County Council’s decision which puts the their beloved facility under threat of imminent closure.

Last week, the News revealed that recommendations were for Ilminster library to be spared closure following a public consultation, but that South Petherton was likely to shut.

That is unless the village can put together a proposal for a community library partnership, where they support the library along with SCC.

Cllr Adam Dance is the chairman of the parish council and the area’s district councillor.

He said: “Personally I am very disappointed. This has obviously been there plan for a number of years since they started closing the library at 4pm.

“Parents all said by the time they are home from picking up the kids from school, it has shut.

“It is SCC letting down the residents of Somerset once again.

“As a parish, if we take on the library, which we cannot promise we can do, it would mean huge increase in the precept.

“It could almost be up by 15 to 20 per cent, and that is on top of other precept’s increases.

“It is like the gritting of the roads. We have had to pay ourselves to buy bags of grit and then we will have to put them all out ourselves.

“And these are all things that you don’t plan for in the precept, so we couldn’t adapt to it until next year anyway.”

Other members of the parish council lashed out at the announcement.

A statement said: “The parish is very disappointed in SCC ‘s proposal to close the library, particularly given the very short notice which severely hampers the ability of the community to come up with its own solution and funding.

“It doesn’t give the parish sufficient time to consult properly with its community nor to plan the Parish precept, but will have to consider immediate funding from its limited reserves.

“Neither is the parish being offered any immediate financial grant to ease the transition, unlike 7 others faced with closure, which is discriminatory and unfair.

“Despite these obstacles, we have established a working group to look at the options and this will present costed recommendations to SPPC on November 5.

“The town has lost its bank, and if it loses the library there will be less people - parishioners and visitors - which in turn will threaten the viability of shops and risk South Petherton becoming a satellite dormitory for Yeovil.”