Mobile library cuts attacked by MP
PUBLISHED: 19:00 04 July 2011
PLANS to cut mobile libraries in Somerset have been described as an 'unnecessary attack' on local services.
Somerset County Council has announced that the number of libraries will be slashed from six to two from August 1, while the number of stops the service makes will be cut by 64 per cent later that month.
The amount of communities reached by the revised service will also drop by around 50 per cent, from 415 to 209, with every stop to be visited once every four weeks.
Wells MP Tessa Munt described the cuts as “a grossly exaggerated response to the Conservative council’s aim to cut the libraries budget by 25 per cent over three years.”
She continued: “This is simply an unnecessary attack on important local services.
“I know there will still be library visits to schools, elderly people’s homes and sheltered housing, but I am deeply concerned that such a major scaling back of this vital service will have a hugely detrimental effect on many towns and villages, and on people’s lives.”
The new routes, which will be in effect from August 15, will be distributed to mobile library users in the coming weeks, and are available on the authority’s website.
Councillor Christine Lawrence, the authority’s cabinet member for community said: “Devising these new routes has, of course, been very difficult. But we have done our very best to limit the impact by making sure the service still reaches as many communities as possible.”