Poet Luke Wright defends Bungay library in verse

A BBC Radio 4 poet from Bungay has given his backing to the town's library days before the deadline for submissions of support for the service ends.

Luke Wright, 29, has written a poem hitting out at Suffolk County Council's cost-cutting plans which threaten library services.

The council is proposing to transfer the running of 29 of its 44 libraries to local councils, businesses, community and voluntary groups in a bid to slash the library budget by 30pc. Its four-month consultation on the future of library services ends on Saturday.

Mr Wright is a leading performance poet who regularly tours the country and is a resident poet on Radio 4's Saturday Live programme. He also programmes all poetry for the Latitude Festival and will be performing at Glastonbury, Port Eliot and Edinburgh Festivals this year.

He moved to Bungay last year and he said as a writer he was delighted to find a modern, light, airy library with friendly knowledgeable staff near to his house.

Speaking about the facility, Mr Wright said: 'The entrance hall is bright with posters and flyers for all sort of local events, there are always people using the facilities and at night it's used as a meeting place for local organisations, from running clubs to sewing societies. It's such a well-loved, well-used facility in a great building.

'At the moment my son Aiden, who is almost two, loves to run around in the beautiful enclosed garden but as he gets older I'd hate it if he had to grow up in a town without a library, in a county once well served for libraries with very few left.'

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More than 2,500 consultation responses have so far been received by the county council, including 15 expressions of interest in running a library service.

Anna McCreadie, the authority's director of adult and community services, said: 'This consultation is about genuinely involving Suffolk residents in shaping the future of their libraries services. We're interested in hearing views on all library services, including mobile libraries. I'd urge anyone who hasn't expressed their view to do so before the deadline.'

An analysis of the responses, including detailed proposals, will be completed next month and in June to form the basis of a report to the council's cabinet on July 19. The report will set out recommendations for the way forward.

To have your say visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/Consultations/LibrariesConsultation2011.htm