BOOK lovers in Mid Devon could lose their mobile library service in council cutbacks.
Devon County Council wants to stop serving 69 ‘under used’ stops across the county, allowing it to reduce the number of library vehicles from eight to four.
Tiverton mobile library serves 22 of these stops, used by fewer than three people.
Across the county 5,100 people in 522 communities use the mobile library service.
The council says its proposal will affect 160 users with the remaining 4,900 users seeing stops reduced from fortnightly to monthly.
Cllr Roger Croad, the council’s cabinet member responsible for the service, said: “The mobile library service costs nearly twice per customer, compared to the average cost per customer to our static libraries.
“Sixty-nine of the 522 mobile library stops are used by just three or fewer customers.
“When we undertook a major review of the mobile library service three years ago, we introduced criteria to ensure the stops were well used.
“We have now reviewed usage of all stops and our proposal is to remove these significantly under used stops from our routes but maintain the service to the majority of customers.
“We have four mobile vehicles approaching the end of their useful life and if these proposals go ahead, it would mean that we no longer need them, reducing our costs considerably.”
The move would reduce the council’s spending by £200,000 a year, as it faces £110million cuts in Government funding over the next four years.
The council’s home delivery service to residents who are disabled or who can no longer physically access library services would remain in place and borrowing times would be changed to reflect the new timetable.
A six-week consultation started this week. Users can pick up a questionnaire from their local mobile library service or visit www.devon.gov.uk/yourmobilelibrary to submit their views.
The council will make a decision in December and any changes will start next year.
FACING THE AXE: STOPS SERVED BY TIVERTON MOBILE LIBRARY:
Cheldon Church, Stone Moor Cross Sheepacre, East Worlington Village Hall, Drayford Cross, Uffculme Markers, East Anstey School, East Knowstone The Smiths House, Molland Wade Mill, North Molton Hill, Rose Ash, Culmstock School, Morchard Bishop War Memorial, Poughill Green Hill, Whitestone Merrymeet, Shobrooke School Close, Tween Moors Cross, Clayhanger Church, Holcombe Rogus Village centre, Higher Chieflowman, Crazelowman Post Box, Westcott Little Cleeves, Loxbeare Church, Willand.