Monday, 28 July 2014

Mobile library ... running on empty?

Having listened to the considerable concerns raised by the public, on Wednesday the Cabinet will consider a new option: scrap (only) three mobile library vans leaving the one remaining van to serve the whole of Cornwall plus a small budget for creating and running micro libraries in rural communities.

The sight of the van would be a rare occasion. The service would reduce to once a month or once every two months.

The number of mobile library stops would be slashed by two thirds.

The stops to be retained would be those most frequented , whether or not they are serving the most vulnerable, and 950 people would have the service cut to their village altogether.

But the worst aspect is that there will be no guaranteed cover for holidays and sickness. So you could be standing at the side of the road and the van might not turn up.

This looks like an exercise in tokenism. We were told that the Council had no money to continue to run these vans., although it always appears to have money for its pet projects. Amazingly each van costs £25,000 and the same for the driver (plus books, fuel and overhead). Surely, nine year old vans need not be so expensive?

Anyway, the Council has changed its mind and the portfolio holder believes that he can now guarantee the future of one van. In that case, to make the service remotely acceptable, it seems to me that holiday/sickness cover should be provided.

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