Council to review mobile libraries

7:01am Thursday 5th December 2013

IN YET another bid to save money Pembrokeshire County Council is to review its mobile library service, it was decided by cabinet on Monday (December 2).

The council operates three mobile library vehicles which serve communities across the county.

The service has operated in broadly the same way since the 1950s, but faces a range of issues.

These include: an old fleet of vehicles prone to regular breakdowns, a narrow service without any ICT or wider information provision and a small number of users – about 1% of the Pembrokeshire population.

A report by the council’s director of development, put before cabinet members, stated: “An ACORN analysis of the socio-economic and demographic profile of users suggests that the vast majority [of users] are in higher income communities with very high levels of car ownership.”

The report also stated that the largest vehicle has issues 70% less books than in the past, while the two smaller vehicles’ book issues have remained “static”.

The budget for delivering the service in 2013/14 is £101,000.

Reading from the report, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, Cllr Elwyn Morse said: “In the context of both the council’s medium term finance strategy requirement to deliver savings, and the declining use of the existing service, it is proposed to undertake a review of the mobile library service, including consultation with users and others.

“The review will include an assessment of the availability and accessibility of alternative services.”

A report setting out recommendations for change will be brought back before cabinet at a future meeting.

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