Conservative councillors in Bath and North East Somerset have launched a petition to save the area’s mobile library service.
The mobile library is currently under threat of being axed entirely by the Lib Dem-run authority’s as part of the council’s budget plans for 2012. However, Conservative councillors have vowed to fight to save the mobile library, arguing that it is a valued service which many elderly residents and young children rely upon. Conservatives have also questioned whether axing the mobile library will deliver the savings the council has claimed given the uncertainty surrounding the costs of creating a replacement home-delivery service.
Conservative councillors will be collecting signatures for the petition from mobile library users and residents in areas which the mobile library serves. In addition, residents can also sign an online version of the petition at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/DY8XGTZ
Signatures will be collected for the petition up until the 14th February Full Council meeting at which councillors meet to agree this year’s council budget plans.
Councillor Martin Veal, the Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said:
“The mobile library serves over sixty destinations throughout Bath and North East Somerset and is valued by elderly residents, Primary School children, young families and residents with disabilities throughout the area.
“Axing this service will hit these communities hard and leave many residents isolated. The mobile library is about much more than just lending books, for many residents in outer-lying communities it is a lifeline and their only regular contact with the council. As well as the social aspect, it acts like a mini-Council Connect. The council should be looking to build upon this, not withdraw the service. This is especially the case when the £168,000 the council is assuming it will save from ending the mobile library is looking increasingly questionable, with the costs of any replacement service unknown.
“That’s why Conservatives have launched this petition to save the mobile library; so that when we come to vote on this year’s council’s budget, councillors can see how important residents view the service. But we need as many residents as possible to show their support and so I urge all local people to sign the online-version of the petition to show the strength of local feeling.”