Final decision expected on Suffolk library plans

A final decision about the future of Suffolk's libraries is set to be taken by members of the county council on Thursday.

A meeting of the county council is expected to endorse the cabinet's decision to set up an industrial and provident society (IPS) to take over the running of the library service and its 44 libraries.

Campaigners fighting to save Eye Library will be among those eagerly awaiting the decision as they need to find out which costs they will be taking on when they move to the town's former Citizens Advice Bureau building.

The county believes this will lead to a considerable reduction in costs and will allow all the current libraries across Suffolk to remain open while costing council taxpayers considerably less.

Judy Terry, the cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, said she hoped the council would approve the plans.

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She said: 'There has been a great deal of hard work associated with this which has taken almost a year to reach this stage. We have reached the position where we are able to safeguard the county's existing libraries while ensuring that costs are cut considerably.

'We also feel that, ultimately, people will feel they get a better service from their libraries, one that is more closely aligned to the service they actually want.'

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Mrs Terry said the council accepted that it would take some time for people to understand the new way of operating and get to grips with the idea of more local control.

'But in the long term we are sure people will see this as a good option,' she said.

Opposition groups have expressed concern that the changes could ultimately threaten some smaller libraries that were under threat earlier this year.

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