Felixstowe: Three groups interested in running town’s library

FELIXSTOWE: Details of the three groups who have expressed an interest in running Felixstowe Library have been made public today.

There is still time for others to declare their interest and enter the bidding for the service, which is being off-loaded by the county council as part of its controversial divestment programme.

So far, Felixstowe Town Council, a community interest group and the library’s own staff, supported by Felixstowe Learning Trust, have registered expressions of interest.

That interest – providing a deal can be done – should secure the future of the library in Crescent Road, but without new managers being agreed, its future would still be in doubt.

The library has been named as one of the 15 “county libraries”, which will mean it will receive funding – albeit 30 per cent less money than previously.

New managers will still need to be found, though, as the county council will not run the library, and these will be need to be assisted by a team of volunteers to compensate for reduced paid-for staffing.

Mike Ninnmey told the town council’s finance and general purposes committee that the public perception had been that the library was safe.

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“I think because our library was named as one of the 15 ‘county libraries’, the community believes the library is safe, when this is apparently not the case,” he said.

“The consultation is still taking place at the moment – we have an awful lot of library users in this town and I think we need to ensure that people get involved in the consultation and the future of the library.”

Chairman of the town’s libraries and heritage advisory committee, Joan Sennington said: “We are not safe – the library will be divested along with all the other county libraries.

“But we have three expressions of interest and we are hoping that everything will be all right in the long-term.”

? Who should run Felixstowe Library? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk