A SOUTH Somerset library which was condemned to closure by county council cuts has been resurrected by its community.

The parish council joined forces with supporters of South Petherton Library as soon as their facility was delivered a fatal blow last year.

After the county council’s funding announcement in November 2018, a community group was quickly set up.

This was developed into a Community Library Partnership which has 22 trained library volunteers, as well as paying for county council librarians.

The group also went a step further by redecorating the premises and returning with longer opening hours.

The facility was relaunched on Saturday (May 11) with a formal ribbon cutting and celebratory cake.

Residents of the village turned out to see Adam Dance - parish council chairman, district councillor and county councillor for South Petherton - and Liberal Democrat MP candidate Mick Clark perform the launch.

Peter Kidner, of the volunteer library management group, thanked the parish council for its funding, and Mark Freeman and Biddy Elliott, who organised volunteer staffing.

Mr Kidner added: “I don’t see how doing away with libraries is seen by the county council as compatible with the need for community involvement and education.”

Cllr Dance said: “It was a really nice feeling that we managed to keep our service.

“There was a really positive vibe from the community there that here in South Petherton we are not going to lose services, we are going to protect services.

“The parish council is delighted to be providing £30,000 of launch funding rather than lose this key community resource.

“Within a few days of Somerset County Council announcing the library’s closure a management group was formed.

“It currently has 22 volunteers trained to run the library, unpaid. The whole premises have been redecorated by this local team.”

As well as longer opening hours, the newly reopened library will also host book clubs, special children’s events, a summer reading challenge and a Lego club.

Plans are also in place to create a new community hub in the building.