County council's plan to shave stops off library service in a bid to save £130K

Daily Echo: A mobile library being used. A mobile library being used.

Details of scores of mobile library stops facing the chop in Hampshire can be revealed today.

County bosses have drawn up a list of 100 stops which they claim are not viable as the authority bids to shave off 12 per cent of its budget.

Under plans to save £130,000, the five-strong fleet of mobile libraries will be reduced to three by next year. But the service, which takes library books to isolated rural areas, nursing homes and the housebound, will also be slashing stops by nearly a third.

Those under threat include three in Fareham, six in Eastleigh, eight in the Romsey area, ten in Winchester and 26 in the New Forest.

As reported, this comes on top of threats to three libraries which are expected to shed their staff, to save £50,000, including Milford on Sea.

It is hoped volunteers will step forward as they did last year for libraries in North Baddesley and Stanmore but if no one comes forward the libraries face closure.

Speaking at a committee meeting examining the plans, Councillor Peter Chegwyn, Liberal Democrat opposition spokesman for culture and communities, said: “Even if there are a tiny handful of people using these stops, often they are people who have no alternative.

“They are elderly people who have no transport of their own and can’t get to the nearest library stop many miles away. You can argue on one side it will affect very few people but on the other hand it’s a lifeline.”

He said if the library in Milford on Sea, which has a high number of retirees, were to close, many may not be able to travel to the nearest one five miles away.

Comments (2)

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12:48pm Mon 27 Jan 14

SPIKEISLANDTRADER says...

Age of the KINDLE , dirty old books have had their day . Would not be surprised if its the END of LIBRARY s , completely . The times they are a changing .
Age of the KINDLE , dirty old books have had their day . Would not be surprised if its the END of LIBRARY s , completely . The times they are a changing . SPIKEISLANDTRADER

7:50pm Fri 31 Jan 14

ho-hum says...

Thank goodness we didn't go with the mobile option in North Baddesley.
Thank goodness we didn't go with the mobile option in North Baddesley. ho-hum

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