Suffolk Library Divestment Scrapped

Cllr Judy Terry receiving petitions to
 save Suffolk libraries
Cllr Judy Terry, Cabinet Lead at Suffolk CC for Libraries will be on BBC Radio Suffolk at 8am tomorrow. It is understood and reported in the Evening Star that she will announce the scrapping of the controversial plans to divest libraries.

Instead a Community Interest Company will be formed by the County Council to manage libraries with representation of councillors, officers and the community. It is hoped all libraries will be able to be kept open but closures have not been completely ruled out.

It is clearly no accident that this has been announced days before the District Council elections but nonetheless it is welcome news.

Clearly there are issues about funding and accountability that we all need to keep an important watch on but the immediate threat of library closures has been lifted.

This is the result of several months of hard campaigning by people across Suffolk and reflects the fantastic response of the people of Suffolk to the threat to close our libraries or divest them in a way that was unclear and ill-thought out.

It also shows how wrong those who like Cllr Joanna Spicer who open a meeting stating "This isn’t an opportunity to object to possible closure or say ‘we support our library’" were. That is just what people did and said . I hope the days of County Councillors telling electors what they are allowed to think are gone. Protest and campaigning can and does change things and is an essential part of a democratic society.

Yes some may see this as an electoral stunt but it also demonstrates that at the end of the day councillors cannot simply ignore the wishes of the people.

I hope that the County Council will continue to listen to local communities as it puts this plan into action and I will be emailing Judy Terry offering to help with this process in any way I can.
Suffolk County Council 1080104462956434497

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