A DECISION on the future of mobile libraries in Dorset will be made next week

Following a public consultation Dorset County Council's People and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee will consider the withdrawal of three mobile library vans at a meeting on Thursday, June 16.

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

The council has also said axing the mobile library service is part of its plan to save £1million over the next three years.

Cllr Deborah Croney, cabinet member for learning and skills, said: “We are considering changes that focus the provision of the mobile library service for people who cannot travel to a library building. We are proposing that the home library service mobile library continues and are looking to find a different way of providing library services to those who cannot get to a local library.

“The feedback from mobile library users has been helpful in better understanding the impact on these changes and how some people will be able to continue to use library services in other ways.

"Due to ongoing funding reductions from national Government, we need to reduce the library service budget by a quarter over the next three years, which equates to around £1m. Savings will need to come from a range of areas, not just mobile libraries.”

The consultation identified that social isolation is a concern for some people and the council’s community development team is working with communities to address the social aspect that the mobile library currently serves.

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.