A NEW mobile library service launched today has been attacked by a campaign group as an attempt to fob people off.

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries say they welcome the fact that a mobile service is continuing, but claim the county council did not consult widely enough and many isolated people and communities will be left with a diminished and inadequate service.

Spokesperson Johanna Anderson says: “We are pleased that Gloucestershire County Council has not pursued its former plans to axe the mobile library service, which was ruled as unlawful by a high court judge in November 2011. However, we have grave concerns about the new service.”

“We are particularly concerned about GCC’s strategy to make longer stops at bigger towns and villages and to miss out smaller ones altogether. This misguided decision leaves those very users most in need of mobile services with no library access at all. It only serves to isolate further the residents of smaller hamlets and villages, inadequately served by public transport. It rather defeats the point of a mobile library service.

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries accuse the council of “being determined to slash our public libraries by 43%, cut seven of our communities from the public library network, and wanting to axe all of the mobile libraries entirely”