Mobile library services to be cut

Villages in the Rye and Battle area face a longer wait between mobile library visits as changes are approved by East Sussex County Council.

Visits to local communities will change from a fortnightly rota to a three weekly schedule.

A total of 90 stops will remain unaffected, while 16 stops will be combined. Visits to 21 care home and sheltered housing settings will be replaced by an existing alternative service.

The county council claims the changes will save the taxpayer more than £130,000 a year.

The decision will reduce the £259,600 annual budget for the service by £131,600 while residents will still have regular access to library services within their community, says the county council.

Cllr Chris Dowling said: “In the case of the mobile library service, we have ensured that every resident that relies on the service still has access in one way or another.

“We will continue to visit 90 of the 127 stops we currently serve, while promoting our alternatives to care home and sheltered housing to ensure services are available to all those who rely on them.

“These changes are the result of a comprehensive review and extensive public consultation. We believe they will have minimal impact of residents’ access to library services.”

Stops in 16 communities along the route will be combined, where there are two stops a mile or less apart. Initial consultation suggested 17 could be combined, but Cripps Corner is to retain its stop after concerns were raised about the ability for residents to safely reach the nearest alternative, which is a mile away.