Brighton and Hove's mobile library to be scrapped

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A mobile library used by 750 people in Brighton and Hove is to be scrapped a year after it was given a reprieve.

The city council said the current vehicle needed to be replaced, which would not be value for money, despite £125,000 capital having been set aside.

A final decision will be made next week but the service is expected to close down at the end of March.

Library campaigner Harry Spillman said users of the mobile library got enormous pleasure from it.

'Expensive to maintain'

"They are able to borrow books, to browse, to meet other people, to chat to staff in a very personal and intimate way rather like you get in a corner shop," he said.

He said many users would not be able to get to libraries otherwise.

"I have been contacted, for example, by a mother of four small children who doesn't want to get them on a bus to get to a library," said Mr Spillman.

"The current mobile library, which is loved by a lot of people, is getting more and more expensive to maintain," said Councillor Geoffrey Bowden.

"£125,000 was averted from the capital fund to purchase a new one but it was conditional on us finding money to keep it on the road. It costs nearly £80,000 a year."

The council said it would replace the mobile library by expanding its home delivery service and had recruited 20 volunteers to deliver books.

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