One of the mobile libraries

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Plans have been unveiled to scale back the mobile library service in Lichfield and Burntwood. Staffordshire County Council has published its initial proposals after revealing that usage of the service had dramatically declined. The authority says that less than 1% of the population of Staffordshire now uses the mobile library. The council is now proposing that visits will only be made to:
  • locations that are more than two miles away from a static library
  • communities that currently receive three or more visitors
  • communities where there are people in greatest need
The changes would mean no mobile library service for areas currently served such as Hammerwich, Burntwood, Chasetown, Streethay, Curborough, Weeford, Chase Terrace, Fazeley and a number of other areas in Lichfield. Mike Lawrence, Staffordshire County Council cabinet member responsible for the review, said: “New technology and better connectivity has transformed the way people access the written word and has particularly affected use of the mobile and travelling service. “The simple fact is it that it costs the county council almost £7 every time someone steps on to a library vehicle. At a time when we’re spending an extra £20million this year on care for the old, young and vulnerable we are unable to sustain that investment. “These initial proposals will still support deprived areas and keep popular stops which are more than two miles from a library building.” A cross-party committee councillors will examine the plans on June 1. A nine-week consultation period is also scheduled in July. Cllr Lawrence said: “The needs of local people are changing and we must change with them. “With this review we must we must be honest about what we can afford in the future, while continuing to serve those who need us most. “These proposals are not set in stone – we are willing to talk to different communities about their possible impact and hear alternative ideas, but there must be change.” Full details of the proposal can be seen on Staffordshire County Council’s website.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.