Eye set for ‘fun’ demo over public service cuts

A north Suffolk town will be staging a 'light-hearted' demonstration at the weekend to make its point about the impact of council cutbacks on the community.

Town leaders and residents in Eye will be taking to the streets on Saturday morning to highlight the damage that could be caused by closing library, youth, and elderly services.

Under the banner of 'Eye Don't Believe It', organisers will be unveiling a mock-up mobile library, portable toilet, pavement youth club and care home outside the town hall to show the facilities that residents could be left with as a result of county and district council budget cuts.

The event, which aims to show that 'Eye can see the funny side' of its situation, will also raise funds for Comic Relief through a pavement cafe.

The town is at risk of losing its library, Paddock House care home, and youth club, which are all run by Suffolk County Council. A Customer Service Direct walk-in centre will shut at the end of the month and the nearby household recycling centre at Brome is also set for the axe.

Mid Suffolk District Council is also proposing to close the public toilets in the Cross Street car park.

Local groups and organisations are being asked to take on services that the councils no longer wish to run.

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Town councillor Merlin Carr said the town centre demonstration aimed to inform passers-by of the threat to Eye, extend public awareness, and direct people to the various online petitions.

'The idea is to spotlight what could happen to these services in Eye if we do not get together and work out solutions. The initial reaction was that it was the end of the world and Eye would become a ghost town, but it is part of the spirit of Eye that we bounce back.'

'A lot of communities are finding the same thing, but we are concerned that we have a few more services being hit,' he said.

Bruce Bennett, mayor of Eye, will unveil a canvas 'superloo' in the town centre between 9.45am and 10.45am to highlight the threat to the public toilets.

Also, the local bus will be greeted with a fanfare when it arrives in the town centre on Saturday morning.