Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Ipswich: Borough council demands that town libraries are saved

15:00 24 February 2011

Liz Harsant

Liz Harsant

Archant

IPSWICH: Borough chiefs have written to their county council counterparts in a last-ditch bid to stop libraries closing in the town.

The move was revealed by Ipswich Borough Council boss Liz Harsant during a stormy meeting at Endeavour House in Ipswich last night.

It comes after Suffolk County Council last week voted through sweeping cuts to library and lollipop services as the authority aims to save £42.5 million over the next year.

Cllr Harsant also announced that discussions were under way with a company prepared to sponsor a number of school crossing patrols in the town.

The Tory leader said: “Nobody on this side wants to see the libraries close down or school crossing patrols stopped – but these are not the responsibility of this council!

“However, I have asked our chief executive to write to the chief executive of Suffolk County Council (Andrea Hill) to tell her that Ipswich Borough Council wants to see libraries remain wherever possible.

“We have expressed an interest in working with Suffolk County Council in order to achieve this. We do take it seriously and we intend to have meetings before we start throwing money at it.”

She added: “We all would like to see lollipop services retained as well. We all want to ensure that children get to school safely.

“We have been working with a potential sponsor and meetings have been going very well. The sponsor is prepared to pay for some of the lollipop service to be retained.

“We hope to have a result very soon, but can’t divulge who the sponsor is at this stage.”

Councillors clashed over proposals to spend £240,000 on locality budgets for councillors.

Under the plans, borough councillors are given around £5,000 each, which they can decide to spent on community projects.

Labour councillors proposed an amendment to the plans – asking that the budgets be scrapped and the money instead used on saving school crossing patrols and retaining library services.

David Ellesmere, leader of the Labour group, said: “Most people are more concerned about the loss of libraries and lollipop service than making a small saving on their council tax.

“We propose to spend the £240,000 on saving these facilities and put the remainder into the council’s reserves.”

However, the amendment was quashed after concerns were raised about the amount of money needed to fund the services.

Andrew Cann, Lib Dem councillor, said the funds wouldn’t be enough to fully run libraries in the town and urged councillors to instead spend their locality budgets on saving school crossing patrols.

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

1 comment

  • To close Broomhill library at a time when the pool might reopen and bring more people into the area shows the kind of foresight councils are famous for. There are plenty of other areas savings could be made in order not to make libraries an issue.

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

Delivering millions of presents around the world in a single night won’t seem as strenuous this Christmas for Santa after he completed a gruelling obstacle course in Ipswich.

The RSPCA are appealing for animal lovers to come forward and adopt some of the cute creatures they are looking to rehome.

Eagle-eyed shoppers have spent the day looking for the ideal gift at a Christmas market at a church in Felixstowe.

A young man was killed during a crash between a car and a lorry in Essex this morning.

“We won’t let this happen without making a lot of noise”.

A diving club has marked its 60th anniversary by renaming two boats after founding members.

An Ipswich musician is this month ditching the razor in tribute to his sister who bravely overcame bowel cancer.

A coroner looking into the death of an 85-year-old man whose body was washed up in Orford Ness says we might never know what happened to him.

Members of Suffolk County Council are expected to call for Network Rail to invest heavily in the region’s railways following the start of the new Greater Anglia franchise.

The train lines from London to Ipswich have now reopened after a man was hit and killed by a train between Colchester and Manningtree earlier today.

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24