Search

Hopes for a u-turn over cuts to Norfolk’s mobile libraries look set to be dashed

PUBLISHED: 15:31 05 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:01 05 May 2014

A u-turn on cuts to Norfolk's mobile libraries looks unlikely. Picture: James Bass

A u-turn on cuts to Norfolk's mobile libraries looks unlikely. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

Hopes that Norfolk’s mobile libraries could be handed a reprieve to restore how often they visit villages around the county look set to be dashed.

As part of a package of £167m of cuts, Norfolk County Council agreed in February to reduce the frequency of how often mobile libraries call at dozens of villages across the county.

That saw 31 routes changed, so mobile libraries only call once every four weeks rather than fortnightly, with council bosses saying that would save £109,000.

However, in March, the council backed a motion, by 40 votes to 30, from then Conservative leader Bill Borrett asking the Labour/Liberal Democrat cabinet to halt the cuts.

That motion said cuts should be put on ice while work was done to see if there were other ways to raise money to protect mobile libraries, such as by making them available to other services.

But, at a meeting next Monday, officers will recommend the cabinet sticks with its original decision.

Harold Bodmer, director of community services, said, in a report which will come before councillors: “A consequence of reverting to the previous frequency of visits is that £54,500 of planned saving would not be achieved.

“No opportunities have been identified that could offset this cost.”

He added the council faces £30m in costs after it voted last month to pull the plug on a deal with Cory Wheelabrator to build and run an incinerator at King’s Lynn.

He said any proposal to increase the budget for mobile libraries needed to take the council’s “reduced financial flexibility”, as it looks to replenish reserves, into account.

He added the council already works with partners, such as the NHS, St Hohn Ambulance and adult education, to provide services through mobile libraries, but that generated very little income.

• What do you think of mobile libraries? Tell us by writing, with full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

Other news

08:20

A dementia cafe in Wymondham has received a surprise donation of £400.

Imagine a world where you came into work and your boss said: “Right, you decide what your own salary is going to be this year.”

Parts of Norfolk and Suffolk could experience gale force winds tonight and tomorrow morning.

A proposed 15.3pc hike in people’s council tax bills could be lowered - but would still see people paying £22 per year extra.

Most Read

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It was its down-at-heel aura that first attracted Polly Grieff to the crumbling Old Manor at Saham Toney.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:43

A man has been convicted over the killing of a victim who was left with more than 65 stab wounds.

Read more

Parts of Norfolk and Suffolk could experience gale force winds tonight and tomorrow morning.

Read more
Met Office
Yesterday, 19:43

A series of measures designed to make superfast broadband access in new housing and business developments as ordinary as water and electricity are to be discussed by councillors next week.

Read more
County Council

Imagine a world where you came into work and your boss said: “Right, you decide what your own salary is going to be this year.”

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 2°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter