A MOBILE library is being scrapped along with 30 stops with books set to be carried around in vans instead.

The council’s mobile library, which visited residential complexes and care homes across the borough, is said to be reaching the end of its useful life and won’t be replaced.

A total of 30 sites will no longer be visited by the book delivery service, with the new service limited to books delivered in vans.

Southend Council sent out a press release claiming a “new route” would be used to make the service more accessible for people in care homes, despite slashing the number of stops.

The current route mostly accommodates retirement complexes, many of whose residents live active lifestyles and are not home-bound. The new route will take in four additional care homes and begins on November 5.

The route will continue to be fortnightly.

The amended route will also now offer hour long time slots to allow for any potential delays.

The new arrangement allows for various vehicles to complete the route, a spokesman said however the dedicated facility will be lost.

Southend Council claimed the change is an improvement.

Lesley Salter, councillor responsible for healthy communities and wellbeing, said: “Our decision to operate a new route for the mobile library service reflects our desire to make it available to as many people as possible who would otherwise face difficulty accessing library services. This will also enable us to reach more care and nursing homes, who can contact the library service and ask to be added to the route.

“I look forward to hearing feedback from library service users.”

Any residents no longer on the route - but who currently have books on loan - can return them to the mobile library service on the week commencing November 12, when a driver will be stopping off at the suspended locations to collect any outstanding books. These books can also be returned to static libraries if preferred.

To see a map of the new route, and for more information on the mobile library service, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/mobilelibrary