'WE can't lose our library'.

That is the message from a group of residents who have set up a campaign group to save Highbridge Library.

More than 20 library staff and residents attended a meeting at Highbridge Social Club on Thursday night (February 8) and spoke passionately about saving the town's library.

Dave Chapple, secretary of Bridgwater Trades Union Council, who chaired the meeting, said: "The local campaign group will maximise the pressure on Somerset County Council to ensure Highbridge Library remains open as a professional and directly staffed facility.

"It is vital that this campaign is as broadly-based as possible.

"We want everyone in Highbridge who cares about their library service, regardless of political affiliation, to take part."

The meeting comes after Somerset County Council announced in January that nearly half of council-run libraries in Somerset including Highbridge Library could be set to close in a bid to cut costs.

The county council launched a consultation into the future of county libraries on January 29 and says the cutbacks are expected to deliver between £300,00 and £520,000 of annual savings.

Resident and Highbridge Library user, Jo Osmond, was welcomed by applause from residents at the meeting when she said: " We can't lose our library - this really is so so important. We must stick together on this."

John Fones, vice chairman of North West Somerset Labour also spoke at the meeting and said the opening hours at Highbridge Library mean it isn't easy for residents to use the facility.

"I think it is the responsibility of all of the people in the Highbridge area to make use of the library," Mr Fones said.

"Libraries are places where people can find sanctuary, access to resources like the internet, information and books.

"While library usage is low in Somerset, the opening hours restrict access and we need to be piling resources into Highbridge."

Residents at the meeting unanimously voted to set up a campaign group, Save Highbridge Library, and agreed to invite all civic people including MP's and members of Somerset County Council to their meetings.

Members agreed to meet once a week until the end of the consultation on April 29.