£65k cuts lead to loss of West Sussex mobile library

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MOBILE libraries in West Sussex were reduced by a third this week.

As of Monday (June 6), the number of mobile libraries in the county was decreased from three to two.

The decision follows a year-long review of the service, ordered to cut costs by £65,000 as part of an overall £1million saving for the library service.

A further £1million saving must be made by March, 2014.

West Sussex County Council said a public consultation showed more than 30 per cent of people also used a static library and many drove to the mobile library.

Deborah Urquhart, cabinet member for environment and economy, said: “That survey showed the mobile service was convenient but not vital for a large number of people.

“We held meetings with communities, parish and town councils, and took advice from our staff.

“They have helped us identify the less well used stops, but also ensure vulnerable customers are not missed out.

“We have already planned alternative services for those individuals who have been brought to our attention.”

She added: “In some cases we have amalgamated several nearby stops into a smaller number.

“In some instances, visits will be fortnightly instead of weekly, or monthly instead of every two weeks.

“This has not been an easy process, but I am sure we now have a fair schedule of stops which maintains the service to those in need.”

Details of the new mobile library schedules are available at www.westsussex.gov.uk and in libraries.