Ipswich: Action to save library must be taken now

IPSWICH: A newly-formed community group today warned that action must be taken to avoid Ipswich losing a treasured library.

Rosehill Library remains under threat after the facility was earmarked for closure as part of Suffolk County Council cost-cutting measures.

The authority is looking to shut 29 libraries across the county unless community volunteers or private firms offer to run them.

Since the revelations surrounding Rosehill Library were revealed by The Evening Star, residents have united in a fight to save the Tomline Road service.

However, Jan Rawlings, who lives minutes away and has established the Friends of Rosehill (FOR) group, said that protests were no longer an option and that action needed to be taken now.

“Lots of people have been protesting but we no longer have time on our side,” she said.

“We have little more than a month before the consultation period ends and we need to establish our next move, otherwise we risk losing the service.”

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A document, seen by The Star, outlines a number of ideas which were collaborated by members of FOR as potential options.

But some of the suggestions – including demolishing the library building – have provoked concerns.

Abby Barker, of the Save Rosehill Library campaign, said: “I can’t even believe that demolition was listed as a possibility. We need to fight for that library and alongside many others, I will not stop protesting and fighting for it.

“The impact of the protests in London at the weekend show how the public feels.”

However, Mrs Rawlings said that the idea of demolition was not one that was being pursued. She added: “After speaking with school mums in playgrounds, governors, and members of the public, many of the ideas mentioned have been rejected. One of our strongest options now seems to be becoming a not for profit social enterprise and getting charitable status.

“But these ideas are still in very early stages and nothing has been agreed.”

Borough council leader and library campaigner Liz Harsant added: “We will go out of our way to save that library.

“The building was built by the people of Ipswich 100 years ago, and we’re all working to ensure that it’s around for another 100.”

The deadline for registering an interest ends on April 30. To find out more about Friends of Rosehill Library, visit www.friendsofrosehill.moonfruit.com

n Are you fighting to save Rosehill Library? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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