Mobile libraries to be axed

Councillor Andrew Mallinson stands beside the Bradford Council mobile library in Steeton

Councillor Andrew Mallinson stands beside the Bradford Council mobile library in Steeton

First published in News

Mobile libraries will be axed from the end of this month, it has been revealed.

Craven ward district councillor Andrew Mallinson said the service – which will come to an end on March 31 – was a lifeline to many people.

And he felt more should have been done to seek alternative ways of operating the service, which is being scrapped as part of Bradford Council’s budget cuts.

“For some people the mobile library is their only link with others – it’s not just about borrowing books, it has a social aspect too,” said Coun Mallinson, who chairs the council’s regeneration and economy overview and scrutiny committee.

“At a meeting we asked officers if an alternative way of delivering the service could be looked at – some communities, for example, have come together to successfully run libraries – but we heard nothing.

“There are people out there who would provide a service,” he said.

The mobile libraries make weekly visits to communities across the district, including Eastburn and Steeton. More than 840 people have used the service in the past year.

A council spokesman said the mobile service accounted for 1.9 per cent of total library active users and five per cent of the library service’s costs.

Plans to axe the home delivery service – which takes books to people in their own homes who are physically unable to get to a library – were dropped. That programme, which caters for 568 people, will now continue at a reduced level.

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