Brighton talking book service scrapped

A talking book service for the blind in Brighton is to be scrapped as part of council cutbacks.

Blind people have criticised Brighton and Hove City Council for the move - which will save £22,000 a year.

The council currently pays for the 169 talking book subscriptions, through the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

It claims savings have to be made and it is considering cheaper alternatives.

However, Diane Fazackarley, who is blind and a regular user of the service, said the council will be taking one of her "few pleasures".

She said: "I can't go to the library on my own, but I can make it to the post box to return my talking books.

"Most talking book users are older people who don't get out a lot and don't have a lot of money.

"I just don't understand how they could even consider cutting the service. I pay my taxes but I don't use many of the services the council provides."

Jason Kitcat, cabinet member for finance, said the council takes its responsibility to provide a universal service for the library very seriously.

"Ultimately we already have 6,000 audiobooks in the council libraries and we buy 800 new ones a year," he said.

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