It has been announced that the Mobile Library Service has been withdrawn with immediate effect. In a letter to the Titchmarsh Parish Council, Anne Lovely of the Library & information Services explained:
As you will no doubt be aware, the public consultation around the future of the Library Service has included the deletion of the Mobile Library Service and the service has been running as normal pending the final Council decision.
However, due to the age and the condition of the vehicle, there is a risk of incurring expensive repair work each time it goes out and the recent spending controls imposed by the Director of Finance under Section 114 mean that we have had to withdraw the service with immediate effect.
We will be contacting all existing Mobile Library customers individually to explain the situation.
We have also made arrangements for our Mobile Library Driver to continue to visit the mobile library stops for one last visit to see as many customers as possible. He will be stopping at the normal place at the normal time, but in a different vehicle, to collect stock from customers.
If customers are not able to attend the last mobile library visit they can return any items to any of our libraries. All overdue charges will be waived.
Any residents who would like to continue to use the library service, but are unable to visit their nearest library, can be considered for home delivery through our Library to You service. They can either speak to our mobile van driver at his last visit, or contact their nearest library for further details.
More information on a planned expansion of the Library to You service will be announced in due course.
This is indeed a blow – but perhaps not an unexpected one. The future of local library and bus services were already in doubt long before Northamptonshire County Council were served with the now infamous section 114 notice imposing immediate spending controls on the organisation. This bans the council from any spending except on statutory services. Their own Chief financial officer Mark McLaughlin described the situation at the county as “the worst in England”.
The 114 notice will remain place until at least the end of the 2017/2018 financial year. In the meantime, if you have any further questions relating to the Mobile Library Service, please contact NLIS Feedback at NLISfeedback@firstforwellbeing.co.uk.