Reaction to council plans to save Suffolk’s libraries

A plan to save north Suffolk libraries that have had the threat of closure looming over them has been cautiously welcomed by campaigners.

As reported in the yesterday's EDP libraries in Bungay, Eye, Stradbroke, Oulton Broad, Kessingland, and Southwold will now remain open under new Suffolk County Council plans.

The libraries were on a list of 29 sites, also including Brandon and Lakenheath, in the county that faced closure under council divestment plans to help save 30pc from the libraries budget over three years.

However there are concerns from save our library campaigners that one council option could see a private company brought in to run the county library service.

Felix Williams, the mayor of Eye and a member of the town's high profile Save Our Library campaign, gave the news a 'cautious welcome'.


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He added: 'We do not want to see private bidders come here to make profit.

'A service like a library is incredibly important and it is a public service which should not be governed by a profit motive.'

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Pauline Rainton, from the Oulton Broad campaign, also welcomed the news but said: 'I still believe we need firm information on the council plans before we do any celebrating. We are certainly not out of the woods just yet.'

Sylvia Knights, of the Save Bungay Library group said: 'It is great to see that all the libraries are safe, but I think there is a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure a long-term future for the libraries.'

On July 19 the council will look at options for how all its libraries are run - an in-house business unit; an external, but wholly council-owned, company or an independent company or enterprise managed by the county through contractual arrangements.

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