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Little hope for Brighton and Hove's mobile library
Brighton and Hove's mobile library remains under threat as council bosses revealed there has been little interest in helping to fund it.
More than 1,500 people signed a petition to save the community facility, which is used by more than 800 individuals, earlier this year.
However, as the funding runs out, Brighton and Hove City Council has said there has been little interest from groups and organisations about keeping the service running.
This means it could be scrapped by October despite a number of elderly and disabled residents saying they rely on it.
With £92,000 recently being set aside to support the local authority’s Playbus, some are wondering if the big yellow vehicle will go the same way.
At February’s budget meeting, an amendment from the Labour group meant £25,000 was found to contribute towards running costs for the mobile library.
The council said the service currently visits all areas of the city and will continue on its current schedule until the end of October. However, a review of the situation will take place in September.
David Murray, the council’s strategic director for communities, said: “There has been a lot of interest from community groups about supporting the mobile library but when it comes to finding some cash people say they do not have it.”
At a town hall meeting last month, the Playbus received a similar reprieve when it received some of the council’s £4m underspend for the previous financial year.
This will look at ways to make it more self-funding in the coming year.
Conservative councillor Ann Norman said: “I support the Playbus but just wonder what the £92,000 will be spent on – it looks like quite a hefty amount.”
Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “I am not quite sure if the Playbus, for example, is secure by this as this is just for one year.”
The Playbus carries a wide range of equipment such as scooters, juggling equipment and costumes. It runs three 90-minute sessions a week at parks across the city as well as visiting the travellers site at Horsdean and Downs Park School which supports young people with special needs.
However, it is not used during half-term or bank holidays when children are not in school.
The council said from October 2011 to January 2012 more than 1,200 children and 330 adults took part in the regular Playbus visits.
However, many of these were repeat visitors.
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