'Streamlined' mobile library service to startBy Laura Nightingale
September 21, 2012
PROPOSED changes to Hampshire’s mobile library service, including the withdrawal of 29 stops, could come into effect next month.
Hampshire County Council has been reviewing its mobile library service to ensure it reaches as many customers “as efficiently as possible”.
Among the proposals is the removal of 29 ‘under-used’ mobile library stops, some location changes and adjustments to how long the service will stay at each site.
If the proposals are agreed at the county council’s executive meeting next Thursday, customers using the stop at the children’s centre at Aldershot Park, could see the length of time the library van visits extended, but book borrowers using the current stop in North Town in Aldershot would have to go to a new site, Alma House, if the changes come into effect.
Warby House in Winchfield was under threat, but as part of the review, it is proposed that this stop is kept.
However, the stop at Upper Froyle near Odiham is one of the services that will be withdrawn because it is considered to be under-used. Jenny Gove, from Upper Froyle, said: “There are old people in the area that use that service. The cut will impact them.”
David Collingborn, a Lower Froyle resident, said: “We would not want to lose the service. There are people who do not drive and would find it hard to get to the next closest service, which is in Alton.”
As part of the review, a public consultation was held over the summer. Using customer feedback, the county council proposed that 10 stops would have their time increased and two would rise in frequency from every four weeks to fortnightly. The council also proposed that three of the weekly stops would reduce in length to accommodate some of the other changes and allow for the introduction of two new stops.
Councillor Keith Chapman, the county council’s executive member for culture and recreation thanked everyone who had taken part: “As a result, there are now a number of options that will be considered that aim to redirect resources from those stops that were hardly ever used, so that they are put to better use, and help support those more popular stops. It is our aim to keep any changes to a minimum so that the fewest number of customers would be affected.”
Subject to Thursday’s meeting any changes would start on October 22.