Privatisation. The big threat to ALL Suffolk's libraries?

Jim Lynch

Stuart St. V
This blog has been detailing the twists and turns of the Suffolk Library consultation. It has been an interesting and twisting tale. To start with it looked like 29 of the 44 Suffolk libraries were under threat and that these would close unless Parish Councils and other local community groups would take them over. It then became clear that the other so-called "county" libraries were likely to be privatised. Now it looks like all of the libraries could potentially be privatised.

This is certainly what the American company LSSI would like as was reported in the EADT on 1 March. Here Cllr Judy Terry Cabinet Lead for Libraries is quoted as saying:
LSSI have come to us and would like to have a meeting. There is also another organisation that has been in touch.
The next day it became clear that Suffolk had actually met LSSI four times already. Now it is apparent they are visiting Suffolk again next week and visiting several libraries.

There is an excellent piece in The Guardian today about what is wrong with the idea of privatising libraries. But the most powerful comment against this idea comes from a somewhat surprising source.

Andrea Hill, Suffolk's CEO spoke at the Guardian Public Services Summit earlier this year and The Guardian published a podcast of what she said that you can listen to here:

She begins early on by saying:
There have been a few myths as I say we're not actually privatising everything at the Council...
Then she says later on in her presentation:
We are not looking to one single private sector company to take our services and run them for a profit using tax payers money that they then return to shareholders. I don't think that's what we should be doing with tax payer's money. We want to keep Suffolk taxpayers money in Suffolk... 
I couldn't put it better myself.

Oh and if you see either Jim Lynch or Stuart St. V Fitzgerald from LSSI (photos above) at your local library please Contact Me!
Suffolk County Council 1293112822435549660

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