THE leaders of Somerset County Council have approved changes to libraries and social care services.

The authoriy's cabinet met yesterday to consider a weighty agenda that included sweeping cuts to the library service and cuts to the care services.

A move to pay for the social care of people whose needs are assessed as 'substantial' rather than the lower measure of 'moderate' was approved.

And the following changes to the library service service also went ahead:

Libraries saved from closure:

  • Glastonbury
  • Cheddar
  • Martock
  • Somerton
  • Shepton Mallet
  • Castle Cary
  • Wiveliscombe

Libraries that are to remain open for another year:

  • South Petherton
  • North Petherton
  • Nether Stowey
  • Milborne Port

Libraries that will close in September if no one comes forward to run them:

  • Porlock
  • Highbridge
  • Watchet
  • Sunningdale
  • Bishop’s Lydeard
  • Bruton

The catch for all libraries that stay open – including those not previously threatened with closure, like Taunton, Bridgwater and Yeovil – is that opening hours will cut by around 20% Library users will also be asked to make voluntary donations amounting to £155,000 over three years to help fund the library service.