SCORES of mobile library stops area facing the chop in Hampshire.

County bosses have drawn up a list of 100 stops which they claim are not viable as the authority bids to shave 12 per cent off its budget. Under plans to save £130,000, the five-strong fleet of mobile libraries will be reduced to three by next year.

But the service, which takes library books to isolated rural areas, nursing homes and the housebound, will also be slashing stops by nearly a third. Those under threat include eight in the Romsey area and 26 in the New Forest.

As reported, this comes on top of threats to three libraries which are expected to shed their staff, to save £50,000, including Milford on Sea.

It is hoped that volunteers will step forward as they did last year for libraries in North Baddesley and Stanmore, but if no one comes forward, the libraries face closure.

Speaking at a committee meeting examining the plans, Peter Chegwyn, Liberal Democrat opposition spokesman for culture and communities, said: “Even if there are a tiny handful of people using these stops, often they are people who have no alternative.

“They are elderly people who have no transport of their own and can’t get to the nearest library stop many miles away. You can argue on one side that it will affect very few people, but on the other hand, it’s a lifeline.”

Stops at risk in the Romsey area are:

Bramshaw: Bramble Hill Hotel, Brook Corner
Copythorne: Village Hall
Winsor: James Farm
Woodlands: Community Hall
Ampfield: Crampmoor Lane
Braishfield: Village Hall
Carters Clay: Hatchers Farm
Dunbridge: Mill Rise
East Tytherley: Manor Farm
Houghton: Village Hall
Leckford: Stores
Middle Wallop: Army camp
Nether Wallop: Old Butchers Arms