This is due to the £50million worth of cuts needing to be made in the area over the next three years.
Among several library closures and reductions, the mobile library service is being shut down, which will save £50,000.
Local authorities are charged with ‘providing a comprehensive and efficient library service’ funded by Revenue Spending which comes from formula/non-formula grants from central government; taxes; UBR; and charges for local services.
Since 2002, public libraries have also been required to provide free internet access, funded by the New Opportunities Fund ‘Community Access to Lifelong Learning’ (CALL) programme.
The mobile service is vital to those who cannot easily get to a branch library – stopping at selected sites; community centres; and nursing day care centres – and also housebound people who are currently able to have books and talking books delivered direct to their home free of charge.
If the mobile library service is cut, together with the proposed closure of four local libraries – Easterside, Grove Hill, Marton and Thorntree – even more people will find it harder to loan material.