Residents in save our mobile library plea

OLDER and vulnerable residents could miss out if a Somerset village sees its mobile library service cut, it has been claimed.

With Somerset County Council looking to scrap all but two of its six mobile library vehicles as part of �80million cuts, residents of Wedmore fear that they will be left without the service.

They say that it will take away a service which provides not only enjoyment and learning opportunities, but social opportunities for residents who will be unable to travel to the nearest library.

Resident Gillie Mewes, aged 67, said: “I think it is a very important service to some people in the village, especially those who are vulnerable, elderly, or can’t drive, and can’t get to the nearest libraries in Wells and Cheddar.

“It’s not just the books and materials which they provide for residents, it’s also quite a social experience for some people who might not have many other opportunities to meet people during the week.

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“And the resources they have for people with eyesight problems are very important too – I know one lady who uses it all the time to get audio books as her eyesight is too bad to read, and it would be very difficult for her to get them from the nearest libraries.”

Another resident, 78-year-old Vera Banwell, said: “We’d be lost without the library. The nearest library is eight miles away in Wells, and we all meet up there to get our books and talk.

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“It would be terrible for the village and the residents if it was taken away, from the children who can use the books to the older people.”

Wells MP Tessa Munt, who has joined the villagers in their battle to keep the service, said: “This is a cut too far. Mobile Libraries provide an indispensable service to rural communities.

“Hundreds of Somerset people with limited transport options rely on them - not only for a regular supply of books, DVDs and music CDs, but also as a meeting place and chance to chat with friends. These are the last thing that should be cut, not the first.”

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