IT HAS been recommended that Dorset County Council withdraws three of its mobile library service vans, keeping just one.

The council’s People and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee has made the recommendation to Cabinet.

The decision follows a consultation with library users and local town and parish councils to look at alternative ways to access the library service.

The council has said that the Royal Voluntary Service people who are unable to access a library due to a disability or frailty will continue to have access to books, and other reading material delivered to their home.

It has also said that it will encourage community transport to help people have access to libraries and will continue to take the home library service van to residential homes.

Cllr Deborah Croney, Dorset County Council cabinet member for learning and skills, said: “These changes will help us focus provision of the mobile library service on people of all ages who cannot get to a library building.

“The consultation has given us a clear understanding of the issues and we will use this information with the local knowledge gained from the mobile library officers to work with local communities.”

At the meeting councillors explained the importance of ensuring that there are alternative ways for people to access the library service and the recommendation to Cabinet will reflect this.

The consultation identified that social isolation is a concern for some people and the council’s Partnership for Older People Programme (POPP) community development team has started working with communities to address the social aspect that the mobile library currently serves.

The library service has also joined LibrariesWest consortium, meaning that people who live in Dorset but whose nearest library is in Somerset will be able to access these.