Petition to: rethink the proposed closure of the mobile library service

This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.

We the undersigned petition Surrey County Council to rethink the proposed closure of the mobile library service. More details

Petition update 2 from the council, 15 September 2011

The petition was considered at the Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games decision making meeting held on 14 September 2011 and the following response was agreed:

'In 2009/10 the total cost of running the five public access mobile libraries plus the Residential Homes Service vehicle was £446,000 per annum, of which £439,000 were direct library service costs and £7,000 were corporate costs including insurance and parking.

The total mobile library registered membership (as at December 2010) was 3,906 people (less than 0.4% of the resident population) Active membership - people actually using the service - was around 2,500 people. Survey results suggest that 88% of users are over 65 and entitled to free bus passes. From the same survey 20% said they considered they had difficulty in getting about.

Whilst the service is highly popular among its users, the use of the service had been in a long decline, total monthly issues between April and June 2010 showing a 14.6% decrease on the same period in 2009, and the service was failing to meet minimum performance standards of ten book issues per visit. The analysis by the Libraries Public Value Review suggested that only 2.2% of stops are currently generating the recommended levels of book issues per minute and almost 40% of stops are generating fewer than 10 issues per stop. So the service, despite being valued by its small number of users, was not cost effective to run and suffering a steep and long term decline in use.

The recommendation of the Libraries Public Value Review was that the mobile library service should close and that the library service should consult with the active users on alternative services which could be provided to assist them to access library services if they wished.

Questionnaires have been sent to all registered members, asking them how they used the service and also giving them the opportunity to ask to receive the library service in an alternative way if they were not able to get to a static library themselves.

Forms were sent out to 3760 people and 1612 replies were received. Of these replies, 918 people requested one of the options. All those who requested a housebound service have been contacted confirming a service will be provided for them, and those who requested more than one option have been contacted to discuss their choice in more detail.

The service has developed a variety of alternative services to suit the needs of the current service users, and to be sustainable to meet future demand. These include Books on Wheels service delivered by WRVS in partnership with the Library service, community transport to travel to a static library, and e-readers on load to customers to enable them to download books from the library website, supported by volunteers if necessary. We are also receiving interest for some areas in setting up a small community volunteer run library and these are being investigated.

In the light of this progress and positive response, Surrey County Council will continue with its plan to close the mobile library service on 30 September and provide a range of targeted alternative individual services to enable people who cannot access a static library to receive library services.'

David Hodge, Deputy Leader of the Council, on behalf of Denise Saliagopoulos, Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games.

Petition update 1 from the council, 10 August 2011

The Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games will respond to this petition at the next Cabinet Member Decision Making meeting on Wednesday 14 September at 2.30pm at County Hall, Kingston.

More details from petition creator

The Mobile Library Service provides a vital service to remote areas and an important service to many elderly and disabled residents.

Surrey County Council's own figures show nearly a quarter of mobile library users have difficulties getting about, 15% have hearing difficulties and 11% have sight problems. Also children and families without a car will suffer if the Mobile Library was axed.

Closing the Mobile Library Service will have a serious impact on these Surrey residents, meaning they are unable to access a service that has been at the heart of their communities for many years.

With more promtion and publicity this service could be revitalised instead of closing it for a short term financial gain, leading to long term consequences in our local communities.

Current signatories

Jason Ritchie, the petition creator, joined by:

  • Alan Gallop
  • Mark Stay
  • Jenna Gallop
  • Louise Bishop
  • Paula Hughes
  • Judith Snell
  • Paul Deach
  • Mark Colton
  • Caroline Hunter
  • Caren French
  • Emma Poole
  • Anne Nunn
  • Marsha Dolan
  • Francesco Macheda
  • Jo Anderson
  • Nicola Dempsey
  • Hayley Glenister
  • Eric Leonard
  • dan marks
  • James Graham-Clare
  • lynn gurr
  • Tom Holman
  • Amanda barker
  • Matt curtis
  • David Goodger
  • Emma Gilmore
  • amanda dawson
  • David Middleton
  • Sherif Mehmet
  • Jennifer Mason
  • Kathleen Jowitt
  • James Randall
  • Dan Pebody
  • Katia Widlak
  • Sharon Searle
  • Laura Webster
  • Kelly Tomlinson
  • Helen Green
  • Scott McNeish
  • Joe Geesin
  • David Terry
  • Dan Sear
  • Claire Gravely
  • Carol Hatchett
  • David Endersby
  • Emma Rogan
  • Andrew Michael Bennett
  • Sarah Hayes
  • Anna Berry
  • Kate Johnston
  • sharon currell
  • Mrs April Taylor
  • Jim Nunn
  • Jill Hyams
  • Ian Thorn
  • Paul Hill
  • Jane Marston
  • Bernard Robson
  • Steve Munro
  • John Bulmer
  • Graham Jones
  • Janet Jones
  • Erica Fairs
  • Pauline Dunne
  • Jillian Lacey
  • Holly Craven
  • Jacqueline Bond
  • Wee K Chew
  • Tony dolding
  • Hazel Harvey
  • Paul Couchman
  • Anthony Brown
  • James Murdoch
  • Rupert Jackson
  • andrew talbot
  • Karen Bolton
  • Jill Fraser
  • S Shaw
  • Lynne Richardson
  • Beth Chambers
  • Matthew Want
  • Bernard Chambers
  • H Needham
  • Jane Haycocks
  • Stephen Aldridge
  • Lorna Bonelli
  • michael nolan
  • Anne Gannicliffe
  • jodie redpath
  • Kerry hutchings
  • S Childs
  • Meraud Ferguson Hand
  • Eleanor White
  • Debbie Eke
  • Rosemary Hopkins
  • Margaret Williams
  • Meurig Williams
  • Richard Long
  • David Whitcroft
  • Robert Hardless
  • Linda Arundell
  • Abi Hollingworth
  • Roger Goult
  • jackie Gray
  • Colin Randall
  • Claire Deach
  • Isabella Deach
  • Maureen Baker
  • Matt Helliwell
  • Lindsay Morgan
  • Diane Carroll
  • Roderick Carroll
  • Shelagh Spencer
  • Karen Capel
  • Geoff Williams
  • Moira Gibson
  • Russell Kulsdom
  • Wilfried Rimensberger
  • Linda Peacock
  • Tatjana Schultze
  • Chris Christodoulou
  • Annabel Haycraft
  • Erica Miszti
  • David & Janet Horton
  • Beverly Cookman
  • Stan Edwards
  • Janet Hole
  • Alan Hole
  • Margaret Kwaan
  • norma stephens
  • hard Kwaan
  • Pat Bristow
  • Audrey Nice
  • Doreen Hoggins
  • Sue White
  • Andrew Falconer
  • Teresa Donegan
  • Norman Flack
  • Diane Finlayson
  • Julia Toop
  • Helen Lewis
  • Alban Daniel
  • Caroline Salmon
  • Alan Morris
  • Kathy Morris
  • Jayne Ingram
  • Bernard Ingram
  • Nova Atkinson
  • Michael Widdup
  • Brigitte Watson
  • Marianne Meinke
  • Tracey Lamond
  • thomas tuck
  • Lorna Ploerer
  • Jonathan Holland
  • rosemary flynn
  • Rosemary Early
  • David Bellchamber
  • Candice Adey
  • Jan Reading
  • M. Brakell
  • miss s.dunn
  • monika roth
  • Tim Salmon
  • Alan Bentley
  • Cath Drake
  • danny osullivan
  • David Hearn
  • Sara Challoner
  • Philippa Kelly
  • Nikki Clayton
  • Kathye King
  • Terry Eglinton
  • William Allberry
  • Keziah Cook
  • Vikki Oliver
  • Mike Smith
  • Emma Rogan
  • Carole Lutley
  • Samantha Comerford
  • J. Philpotts
  • John Turnbull
  • elisabeth markwick
  • Alice O'Neill
  • Lesley Pratt
  • Karine Berhanu
  • Gavin Sherrard-Smith
  • Ben Owora
  • Fiona Millard
  • Jackie Wilson
  • Ken Huddart
  • Catherine Hallett
  • Nick Dorrington
  • Jane Taylor
  • Katherine Judge
  • Adam James
  • Keith Judge
  • Daniel Kristiansen
  • Liz Robertson
  • k.barlow