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Campaign to save Lowestoft library gathers pace

PUBLISHED: 15:28 16 March 2011 | UPDATED: 17:52 16 March 2011

Pauline Rainton (centre) with members of the public met at Oulton Broad Library

Pauline Rainton (centre) with members of the public met at Oulton Broad Library

Archant

A community fighting to save their library warned this week that breaking up Suffolk’s countywide network could be the death knell for smaller branches.

About a dozen people met at Oulton Broad Library yesterday to discuss ways of keeping the service going. The small library in Bridge Road, Lowestoft, is one of 29 in Suffolk that could close if no-one else comes forward to run them. Suffolk County Council plans to offload two thirds of its libraries in a bid to save £2m.

When the public consultation over the proposal reached the half-way point last week, more than 1,300 comments had so far been submitted. But the authority has called upon members of the public to put forward more ideas on how to keep the services going.

Oulton Broad library user Pauline Rainton, who organised the meeting after attending a Lowestoft Coalition Against the Cuts forum, said: “We don’t want our libraries to be fragmented. If you break them apart there is more chance of ones like this dropping off the list.

“This meeting has been a bit off the cuff, but it’s an attempt to get the ball rolling.

“I kept hearing all about protests over Stradbrooke, Bungay and Eye libraries, but Oulton Broad was not being mentioned. We want to raise the profile of Oulton Broad library and make sure it survives.”

Roz Gouldby, an Oulton Broad resident who volunteers at the library’s summer school for children, added: “I think we all agree the cuts should come from the top.

“That £12,000 they spent on the chief executive would probably be enough to pay the staff wages here for at least a year.”

As previously reported, Suffolk’s leader Andrea Hill has undergone 23 coaching sessions at a cost of £12,075 to the taxpayer.

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