Plans to combine Saltford library with Post Office

By Aaron Kendall   |   Assistant Editor   |
Sunday 12th August 2018 9:01 am
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“The success of Saltford’s Community Library and the Post Office will be down to the community.”

That was the message from Saltford Community Association Treasurer, Chris Essex, after he submitted plans to bring the services under one roof.

Some sixty volunteers have come together since a Bath & North East Somerset Council consultation brought the library’s future into question last year, with the post office closing its doors soon after. But the demand for both services is obvious.

Residents have donated £4,000 in just two months – more than double what organisers hoped to raise in the first year – and the facility will sell cards and stationery to bring in extra income to cover the lease and running costs. It also has the support of the parish council.

The Bath Road library is currently open the same hours it was when it was under B&NES Council control – all day Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturday mornings – but it is set to open for 26 hours a week when the post office opens, and more if there is demand.

Chris Essex said they are aiming for it to open in September, adding: “The success of the community library and the post office will be down to the community.”

The books are provided by B&NES Council, which still owns the library building. Registered charity, the Saltford Community Association, set up a subsidiary to run the facility. It will employ someone to run the post office.

A planning application to replace the existing library counter with a new joint-counter that includes post office functions is currently with B&NES Council.

Speaking after the library changed hands on 16th July, Saltford Community Library Hub Ltd Chairman, David Halton, said: “Opening the Saltford Community Library is the first stage in providing a new facility for residents of Saltford.

“I want to thank all the community volunteers, Saltford Community Association, Saltford Parish Council and local residents for their significant financial support in making this event possible.

“I particularly want to thank members of the management team, who have worked tirelessly with B&NES Council to provide this wonderful new library in Saltford.”

Brand new community libraries are planned in Chew Valley, Peasedown, Stowey Sutton, Mulberry Park and Timsbury.

Stephen Sumner

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