Huw Merriman MP met with communities who are fighting to keep their valued library services in Hooe and Pevensey last Friday.
Mr Merriman joined residents of Hooe for East Sussex County Council’s mobile library service’s three-weekly visit to the village.
Residents told Mr Merriman that the mobile library service was so much more than just a book-lending service. It provided a place and focus for villagers of all generations to meet, allowed families and children without easy access to transport to use the library services and also sign-posts residents to other local services.
Cllr Pam Doodes, Wealden District Councillor and resident of Hooe, said: “In common with many rural villages, cuts to community and social care services can impact our more vulnerable and elderly residents and place them at greater risk of loneliness and isolation. This can quickly lead to physical and mental health problems.
“The mobile library service is vital to the rural communities of East Sussex, without it there would certainly be a greater impact on social and healthcare resources for the county.”
Earlier that day, Mr Merriman chaired the newly-formed Pevensey Bay Library Action Group to continue its fight to save the local library.
He said: “The county council has to save money and as part of this are looking to make savings across all their services, including the libraries. However, I believe library services should remain a high priority in the council’s budget. From what I have heard from residents today, and as a regular user of the library with my family, I know these services would be greatly missed and would have a huge impact on the local communities they serve.
“I would therefore urge all residents who value these services to take part in the council’s consultation and ensure your views are heard.”
Visit https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/draft-strategy/ to have a say.