Mobile library service could be saved after councillors vote to spare it from cuts

Shire Hall, Chambridge.

Shire Hall, Chambridge. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire’s mobile library service, which is under threat as part of a fresh round of budget cuts, could escape the axe after councillors voted to remove it from savings proposals.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s highways and community infrastructure committee said last Monday (November 30) that the service offered “a lifeline” to people in rural areas and voted that it should not be subject to further cuts.

The county council is mid-way through a public consultation on plans to make £41 million worth of savings this year and more than £100 million over the next five years. This follows cumulative savings of £218 million since 2009.

Its savings proposals include cutting subsidies for school travel for those over 16, reducing provision for those with learning disabilities, cutting the mobile library service and cutting bus subsidies.

Liberal Democrat county councillor, Barbara Ashwood, said: “Mobile libraries are a lifeline to many people in rural areas and are sometimes the only contact they have with councils. They are more than just a book lending service, as they keep them connected to the wider community.”

The committee also agreed to no longer recommend cutting the county’s road maintenance budget.

Councillor, Amanda Taylor, said: “Potholes and cracked pavements are among the most frequent complaints that councillors receive. They make life so difficult for people trying to get about, whether by car, on foot or on a bike.

Most Read

“Poor surfaces are particularly dangerous for older people, sometimes resulting in broken bones and hospitalisation. Cutting this budget would have been not only a false economy but a slap in the face for the people of Cambridgeshire. I’m pleased that the committee saw sense and decided to maintain funding for this core service.”