MOBILE libraries in Dorset look set to be axed under new proposals.

A decline in the number of users and “unprecedented” budget pressures have been cited by Dorset County Council to justify the plan.

A final decision will be made after the authority completes a public consultation, launched on Monday, into the future of the service.

Civic bosses said the decline in people using mobile libraries, which regularly visit dozens of the county's rural areas, is “partly due to changing needs and a growth in car ownership”.

“The budget for the library service is reducing and the need to find savings means that change is required from a range of areas including the mobile library service,” the consultation document said.

The council said its home library service, which visits housebound residents and those who live in sheltered accommodation, will remain and be grown in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service.

Cllr Colin Jamieson, cabinet member for economy and growth, said: “Although the need to look at the service has come from current budget limitations, it is good business practice to reassess our offering to help us deliver a targeted library service to residents.

“We want to understand the impact of any changes on our customers and by working with communities and the voluntary sector, we will try to reduce the effects that any alterations may bring.”

Following a consultation last year, which examined how many people used mobile libraries, a reduced timetable of services will start from May 9.

Details of the consultation and how residents can respond are available by visiting Forms are also available at Dorset County Council’s 25 static libraries and in its library vehicles.