A DETAILED report is being prepared on the future of library services in Somerset after 7,015 people took part in a redesign consultation.

Survey respondents gave their views on a set of proposals for the library they visit most often and were asked for alternative ideas on delivering services into the future.

It followed concerns that some libraries could close.

People replied via paper and online questionnaires and e-mails and many attended 19 drop-on events between January and June.

Cllr David Hall, cabinet member with responsibility for libraries at Somerset County Council, said: "I want to thank everyone who completed the survey or took time to write in.

"We’ve been given a huge wealth of views and information including many responses from primary school aged children setting out how much they love their library.

"The high number of responses and the efforts that people all over the county have put into the process reinforces what we already knew. Library services are just as important to you as they are to us.

"We are proud of our library services, but as a council we also have to live within our means at a time of unprecedented pressure on all our budgets.

"I stress that whatever the recommendations for Somerset’s library services will be going forward, communities will continue to have access to quality library services."

The results of the library consultation will now be fully analysed over the summer with a detailed report published in September.

Recommendations on the future of Somerset’s library service are expected to be published on September 27, with a final decision taken by the authority's cabinet on October 17.

Depending on the cabinet decision, where expressions of interest are received from individual communities, community library partnership proposals may be developed and agreed between November and March next year.

Implementation of the library redesign programme is expected to start early next year.