YORK'S newly formed libraries and social care and telecare mutuals have been celebrated at Downing Street.

Explore Libraries and Archives, and Be Independent, were among the new mutual societies which now deliver local services across England.

A reception was held at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday to celebrate the fact that 100 of these societies are now up and running.

Explore received a £100,000 grant from the Cabinet Office to help develop its organisation and took on council library staff and responsbility for the service in May this year.

Be Independent - formerly the council's Community Equipment Loan Store and Warden Call Service - was formed in April and helps 3,000 vulnerable people across the city.

Its Chief Executive Heather Barden said: “Creating a mutual was a bold step but the team remain excited about the possibilities it opens up to us and are committed to providing the best possible service for existing – and new – customers. We’re already providing a service which is highly valued by our customers and we hope that by becoming a mutual we will be able to further develop our existing offer and avoid future cuts to this vital service.”