Pressure on B&NES to publish reduced mobile library timetable

Pressure is being put on Bath and North East Somerset Council to publish the timetable for its reduced mobile library service.

As part of its budget plans for this year, the Liberal Democrat-run authority has said it wants to cut funding for the mobile library service and take one of its two mobile library vehicles off the road. The cut comes despite a major campaign last year by residents and Conservative councillors to save the service from being axed.

Conservatives have criticised the Liberal Democrats for to trying to push through the cut without consultation and keeping residents in the dark about the planned changes. They are calling on the council to publish the reduced route and timetable for the mobile library so that users of the service can see how they will be affected.

Conservatives have also questioned how the Council can achieve the savings it hopes to make if it has not published and consulted on the new timetable by the start of the financial year.

Conservative spokesman for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, Cllr Martin Veal, said:

“It’s disgraceful that there has been so little information given to the public about such a major service cut. How are residents supposed to judge whether the reduced service will meet their needs when the Council hasn’t even published the timetable? Moreover, how are councillors meant to vote on a budget proposal when they don’t know what impact it will have on a Council service?

“We’re talking here about an outreach service which is well used and valued by many local people, especially school children and elderly residents. That’s why our campaign last year to save the mobile library gained so much support.

“To cut the mobile library so soon after residents and councillors made it clear just how much they value the service betrays a real arrogance from the Lib Dems. They should come clean and publish the reduced timetable immediately and consult with residents over the changes.”