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Figures show 9k use at risk library service

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 22, 2014

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PARISH chiefs have revealed that an under-threat mobile library service is used an astonishing 9,000 times a year in a South Derbyshire village.

Repton Parish Council published the figure following a Freedom of Information request, sent in a bid to assess what impact the removal of the service could have on the area.

It comes after a consultation into the future of the county’s mobile library service was launched earlier this year as Derbyshire County Council weighs up how it will make £157 million of savings.

A spokesman for Repton Parish Council said: “Information obtained from Derbyshire County Council under the Freedom of Information Act shows that, with around 48 visits a year, annual book loans from the mobile library service in this area are just over 9,000. A considerable amount.”

“The parish council is now writing to the county council to object to the proposals to remove this valuable, local service.

“No other public library in South Derbyshire is easily accessible by public transport from Repton, and therefore it is vital to maintain this service.”

The service visits villages all over the South Derbyshire district, from Willington and Church Broughton to Overseal and Netherseal, and could leave thousands without a local service.

The authority has put forward three options for the public to consider, which include scrapping the service altogether.

Other avenues being explored by the council are decommissioning the eight smaller vehicles and keeping the two larger ones, cutting seven smaller vehicles and one larger one, or inviting volunteers or community groups to take over the running of the service.

Repton Parish Council chairman John Shortt said: “I know a lot of elderly and housebound people rely on the mobile library service.”

It costs the council £720,000 to run its mobile library service, which currently employs 26 people.

County council communities chief Dave Allen said: “We want to make sure as many people as possible get the chance to have their say.”

Anyone wishing to have their say on the plans can visit the website www.derbyshire.gov.uk/mobilelibraries or call 01629 533365.

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