End of the road could be near for mobile library service amid cuts

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The mobile library service in Bradford could be under threat.

A report, entitled Library Services: Strategic Options Review, to be considered by councillors next week, says that “based on levels of current usage against cost, the mobile service is not financially viable” and recommends it be withdrawn.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member for employment, skills and culture, said: “We recognise that people really value their libraries. They are not just places where people borrow books but places where people meet, socialise, attend events and learn to use a computer. Yet because of Government cuts we are having to think about how we can maintain library services in those communities with less money.

“In Bradford this means we are looking at co-location and community management where possible. We’ve already started doing this. In Wyke for example the library has moved into Appleton Academy. In Great Horton it’s moved into the village hall.

“The mobiles are also a valuable part of the library service with dedicated staff and normally I wouldn’t want to stop this service.

“But these are not normal times. The Government’s cut our budgets by another £115m over the next three years on top of the £100m which we’ve already taken out.

“This inevitably means we are having to cut services which people value.

“Mobile services cost a lot more per user than the static libraries. They’re also restricted in terms of the services they can offer just because they are only in any community for a short time whilst they are parked up.”