Schoolboy Bobby rescues library from budget cuts

Gerald Vernon-Jackson at the election count this month Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180470-5)

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AN EIGHT-year-old boy has helped save a mobile library from the scrapheap.

Schoolboy Bobby Jervis was so upset when he heard the Maisy Mouse library for Leigh Park and Wecock Farm was to be scrapped that he wrote to The News to stop it.

He sent his letter on to Hampshire County Council, and spoke to the council’s leader, Cllr Ken Thornber, to tell him why it should be saved.

Now Bobby’s efforts have paid off, because despite announcing cuts of £55m, and 1,170 job losses in its budget, the council has promised to keep the service running.

Bobby, of Battens Way, Leigh Park, said: ‘I feel great. My mum’s friend told me yesterday it was being saved and it’s brilliant.

‘I am a bit too old to use it now, but it means it will stay open to help younger children learn to love books.’

The bus visits nurseries and children’s centres in Leigh Park and Wecock Farm, offering children aged up to six the chance to read and discover more about literature.

Bobby said: ‘When I spoke to Ken Thornber I told him the library was the reason I love books. The ladies who work there used to show me books I might like and they would read aloud to us. I love to read. I like poetry and fiction, and now more children will be able to join in.’

Bobby’s mum, Donna Jervis, said: ‘We’re all so proud of him. It’s brilliant to see that a young boy can have an effect when he talks about something he cares about.’

The council had considered stopping the service to save £60,000 a year in running costs and book stocks.

But Cllr Thornber announced: ‘I am pleased we have found £60,000 to ensure the important service continues.’

Cowplain Tory councillor David Keast and Havant Lib Dem councillor Ann Buckley also campaigned to keep the service.

Cllr Keast said: ‘When I heard the service was to be shut in Wecock Farm I was very concerned and I’d like to give Bobby a high-five.’

Cllr Buckley added: ‘The service is vital and I’m delighted the council will continue with it.’