Conservative councillors are calling on Bath and North East Somerset Council to expand the services offered by the authority’s mobile library.
The calls come after the mobile library was saved from being axed in the Liberal Democrat-run authority’s budget plans.
Having successfully campaigned for the mobile library to be spared from budget cuts, Conservatives are now calling on the Liberal Democrat Cabinet to look into ways of providing additional advice and information services to residents through the mobile library. Conservatives argue that the mobile library could be better utilised as an out-reach service and that by expanding its services it could increase its numbers of users and secure its viability.
Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Martin Veal, is leading calls for the mobile library service to be expanded. He said:
“Now that the mobile library has been saved from the axe, we have a golden opportunity to expand upon and improve the service it provides residents. The council should now be looking at turning the mobile library into a genuine One Stop Shop for council services, providing advice, support and information on a range of council departments.
“The mobile library is already about far more than just book-loaning, it also has an important social aspect, especially for many elderly residents and our village communities. Now we should expand upon its’ out-reach services to benefit more residents. By doing this, it will also help ensure its viability well into the future.
“With the Council’s Cabinet due to consider the outcome of the recent library consultation in April, Conservatives will be urging the Liberal Democrats to do more to broaden the mobile library’s services and appeal.”
Suggestions put to the Cabinet by Conservatives include providing more advice on a range of council services such as planning, housing services and care services, making Officers from other Council departments available for advice sessions on the mobile library, and providing information on the Council’s partner organisations, such as bus timetables and community policing.