Most villages in Midhurst and Petworth area escape mobile library cuts

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ALMOST all mobile library visits to villages in the Midhurst and Petworth area have escaped the cuts resulting from the county council’s decision to reduce library vehicles from three to two.

The new rota came into effect on Monday, June 6.

There are 21 communities which are no longer served two of which – Coldwaltham and Stopham – are in the Midhurst and Petworth area.

A mobile library continues to call at Fittleworth, Graffham, Heyshott, Tillington, Lodsworth, Lurgashall and Northchapel.

And at Bignor and Bury, services have actually been introduced, sharing the same Wednesday route.

On Fridays, a library will call at South Harting, Rogate, Milland, Fernhurst and Stedham.

The reduction in the number of vehicles operated by West Sussex library service is the result of a year-long review of the mobile service.

The review was ordered to cut costs by £65,000 as part of an overall £1m saving for the library service.

A further £1m saving must be made by March 2014.

The reduction follows a consultation involving more than 1,000 customers, and extensive talks with district, borough and parish councils.

There was also a community consultation workshop facilitated by Action in Rural Sussex.

A survey showed more than 30 per cent of people also used a static library.

Many actually drove to the mobile stop.

The decision to reduce the mobile library service was taken by Deborah Urquhart, the county cabinet member who oversees libraries.

“I am sure we now have a fair schedule of stops which maintains the service to those in need and achieves the required financial savings,” she said.​