Save Our Mobile Libraries
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We call on the Conservative administration at Norfolk County Council to reverse their plans to cut our mobile library service by almost half in the next 12 months.
There are 1568 mobile library stops across the county, which are used by more than 7,500 people. It is heavily used throughout the county.
Despite this, the County Council is planning to cut its funding by nearly half. In many parts of Norfolk there are no bricks and mortar libraries and the mobile library is often the only County Council service that people actually see.
The proposed cut of £200,000 from next year onwards is more than 40% of the total budget of the mobile libraries service and will radically reduce its ability to deliver. It's almost certain to mean fewer vehicles making fewer stops.
We know that this is a service which is highly valued. Many people use mobile libraries because it’s the only way they can borrow books. If stops are taken away it will be impossible for many people to go elsewhere. This is going to isolate people: the whole point of these stops is for people who don’t have transport - our older residents or those with health conditions who cannot carry books on the bus.
We have been out and met with people who use the service. We know that for some people the mobile library team can be the only people they will see that week. For others they cannot leave loved ones they are providing care for to go to the library, a short visit from the library gives them the smallest but nonetheless important respite. The County Council is currently (rightly) promoting work on trying to reduce loneliness yet with this proposal they will singlehandedly destroy all that good work.
Older people and people with mobility problems rely on these services to keep in touch. They are also the people who are least likely to have access to the Internet to buy or download books.
We need to support the elderly and the vulnerable in our communities.
We call on Norfolk County Council to:
Abandon its current proposal and commit to properly restructuring and re launching the existing service without a budget cut in a way that is designed to meet the needs of the local communities.
Promoted by Sarah Butikofer on behalf of Norfolk County Liberal Democrat Party, The Gatehouse, Felbrigg Lodge, School Lane, Aylmerton Norfolk NR11 8RA
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