Residents near Burnham-On-Sea have this week launched a campaign to save Somerset’s mobile libraries, which are due to be cut from six to just two vehicles as part of the County Council’s £80million cuts programme.
Over 1,100 locations are visited by the council’s mobile library buses, including some of the smallest villages in Somerset, providing books and story tapes to residents, some of whom are without transport in isolated communities.
MP Tessa Munt, who is backing the campaign, said on Monday: “This is a cut too far. Mobile libraries provide an indispensable service to rural communities. Hundreds of Somerset people with limited transport options rely on them – not only for a regular supply of books, DVDs and music CDs, but also as a meeting place and chance to chat with friends.”
“Although the council made a partial u-turn on closing some Somerset library buildings, its leader has ignored pleas to save mobile libraries. Mobile libraries could offer a cultural lifeline to the young and old.”
This comes at the same time as news of a legal challenge launched against Somerset County Council by Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) to test the Council’s statutory duty to ‘maintain a comprehensive and efficient library service’.
MP Tessa Munt is pictured with mobile library users in Wedmore this week