Thursday, 9 February 2012

Concerns over Launceston One Stop Shop moving out of reach of many residents

This morning I made the case at a council scrutiny meeting that the planned move of Launceston's One Stop Shop to the library building must not be made at the expense of people being able to use it.

The One Stop Shop is going to move as a money saving measure that has already seen the Tourist Information Centre taken over by the town council. I am concerned that the library building is inaccessible for many people with mobility problems as it is up a sharp slope, so if the OSS moves there then many people who can get to it at the moment won't be able to in the future.

I know that there are local residents who are already cut off from the library unless they can find someone to drive them to the door. The Little Red Bus do a great job of getting people from door to door three days per week. But this isn't the solution for everybody. Neither is being able to get services online or on the telephone.

Even driving to the library can be tricky as there is only limited parking and a single disabled bay which the council now wants to book out in advance. The Council has also started proceedings which could lead to charges being imposed on people parking at the library - although this is not planned at the moment.

So I will be meeting with the Communities Director to discuss the planned move and what can be done to make the library building properly accessible to all. I'm happy to see money being saved by the move, but we should not be scrimping on making council services properly accessible.

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