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'There is no money' says councillor despite records office U-turn

PUBLISHED: 16:04 07 June 2018

Lowestoft library and record office. Picture: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft library and record office. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Councillors have demanded that council money be provided to ensure a physical archives facility in north Lowestoft survives.

The future of a service in the town remains under threat after the announcement that Lowestoft Records Office is due to close next year.

It is due to a lack of confirmed funding for any new archives facility, despite assurances from Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks at a council meeting in May.

Green councillor for Beccles Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw admitted the attitude towards the future of the records office has changed but demanded the promise of money.

She said: “The attitude towards the record office has definitely changed. Before, SCC were not even talking to the people who were concerned about it in a constructive way and I hope that is something Mr Hicks has to offer.

“Capital needs to be promised and if there genuinely is not money then the council needs to actively look for funding from other sources. It needs to be SCC that does that while using its own resources to do so.”

She added: “It is not acceptable for all the money to be spent in Ipswich when it is so far down in the geography of the county.”

Alice Taylor, Lowestoft town councillor for Kirkley, said it was crucial for the town’s heritage to stay in Lowestoft.

She said: “The fact that the Hold is being built in Ipswich is great for Suffolk and great for Ipswich but doesn’t solve the problem of access to our heritage in Lowestoft and the whole part of the county including Halesworth, Beccles, and Southwold.

“I think this can be fixed. I think it is requiring a rethink and steering the Titanic away from the iceberg which is going to require a lot of work.”

SCC councillor Paul West, cabinet member with responsibility for Lowestoft Records Office, said: “We are looking to work with interested parties in the area to develop a fully funded, sustainable, Lowestoft facility that meets accreditation standards and will allow archive records to be kept and maintained in the north of the county.

“What and where the facility will depend on the feedback we receive from the formal consultation as well as considering any resource implications. There is currently no capital or revenue budget committed to a proposal but we will be seeking funding to help develop it.”

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