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Thousands in South Derbyshire could lose mobile libraries

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

By Rich Guttridge

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THE number of people in South Derbyshire served by a mobile library service would be more than halved under plans being considered.

Derbyshire County Council is proposing to scrap all but two of the services that currently tour the district, which would leave thousands of people without access to a library.

Of the 383 communities which currently have access to a mobile library service in South Derbyshire, 240 would lose it should the proposal be accepted.

The authority said it was pushing forward with the plan to decommission eight smaller vehicles and retain two standard mobile libraries, as feedback from members of the public had suggested it was the favoured option.

But chiefs said no decisions had yet been made and they were keen to hear from as many residents as possible before making a final call.

Campaigns have been launched across South Derbyshire in a bid to save the service since a consultation on its future was launched earlier this year.

Mobile libraries were targeted as an area where costs could be cut, with the county council needing to make savings of £157 million.

A council spokesman said: "Comments received in the initial consultation have been used to develop a more detailed second stage, outlining a proposal to maintain two standard mobile libraries, working to a monthly timetable. This proposal received the greatest support.

"It would also allow the service to be retained at selected locations, some of which are too inaccessible for the larger MCVs (maximum capacity vehicles) to reach.

"All of the original options remain open and we're eager to hear a full range of responses and any fresh ideas residents may have."

The service visits villages all over the district, from Willington and Church Broughton to Overseal and Netherseal.

Councillors in Repton and Willington have been among the most vocal on what they regard as an important local service.

Repton Parish Council chairman John Shortt said: "I know a lot of elderly and house bound people rely on the mobile library service. It would be hugely disappointing if it did go."

To have your say on the future of mobile library service, visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/mobilelibraries or call 01629 533365.

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