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Mobile library services still under threat

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 20, 2014

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BOOKWORMS living in some parts of South Derbyshire could be set to lose their mobile library service, following consultation by Derbyshire County Council.

The authority is mooting plans to withdraw eight of the vehicles which currently operate in the county – including one of the maximum capacity vehicles which takes books to Newhall and Hilton.

The plan, one of several aimed at tackling a £157 million cut in the budget, would leave two standard libraries working around the county on a rota system, which would be drawn up depending on need. Eligible residents could receive a home service.

Councillor Dave Allen, cabinet member for health and communities, said: “The option to keep two vehicles received the greatest support, and many respondents said they’d rather see the frequency reduced than not have one.”

At the moment, a standard vehicle based at Woodville serves most of the villages in South Derbyshire. It is not known whether or not this one would be retained.

Some of the areas may no longer receive the service if the proposed changes are implemented, following a second stage of consultation which began this week.

The mobile library service currently costs £720,000 a year to run.

Moves to scrap services have been called ‘diabolical’ by campaigners.

Gill Farrington, chairman of South Derbyshire Forum, said: “This is just something else being taken away from older people. You have got to wonder what there is left.

“They want to be able to sit in their homes and read and will have to rely on family to bring them books but they could be at work. It is just diabolical.”

Four options were put forward during the first consultation earlier this year, including cutting the service altogether.

Councillor Allen said: “The council is facing extraordinary and unprecedented budget pressures. It’s inevitable many of our services will be subject to change.”

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