Archive | April, 2013

IPS charges for World Book Night event

23 Apr

A reader of this blog writes: “I noticed in the Ipswich Star that the central library are charging people £3 to take part in their World Book Night event tonight (Tuesday 23 April 2013):
http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/ipswich_wear_your_pjs_to_the_library_for_world_book_night_1_2013775

I think this is pretty shocking really. World Book Night is intended to be a free event, subsidized by publishers, to promote reading and the love of books. It seems to me quite wrong for the library to be using it as a fundraising opportunity.

Mentioning this to you because of your interest in monitoring the libraries’ activities under the new ownership setup. If this sort of thing is illustrative of their attitude then I think people should be made aware of how wrong it is.”

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Political parties on Suffolk libraries

20 Apr

After a little hustling, we are pleased to have elicited the following policy statements on libraries from the three opposition parties in Suffolk County Council. Remember, the present dominant Tory council has:

  • cut the funding to libraries by a third,
  • privatised the service to a high-risk, untested (sorry, “imaginative”) Industrial & Provident Society,
  • withheld a further £100,000 from the IPS, which is expected to be raised by “community groups” around the county.

The facts need to get out there to voters before they fill in their Postal Votes, or go to the ballot box on Thursday May 2, 2013.

Political party statements

Please back our libraries

15 Apr

Letter to the Editor (East Anglia Daily Times 15 April 2013):-

Please back our libraries

Sir, – Suffolk County Council is paying an Independent and provident Society (IPS) to run our libraries but is asking local residents to raise money to cover the !100,000 shortfall announced for this year.

Some local councils have given quite large sums from their precept to help with deficit funding.

Some libraries are trying to for “Friends” groups to support them in fundraising etc.

At a campaign meeting last night (set up two years ago to try to safeguard the future of our libraries) members from various libraries reported on questions being asked of the IPS, ranging from where the money is held from donations, whether it will safeguard individual libraries and what will happen to those libraries who do not raise the required amount?

The responses have been inconsistent, variable and undelineated. Obtuse answers are unacceptable when the IPS are charged with delivering such a valued service. There should not be anomalies – transparency is needed.

There is no guarantee that the deficit funding will not be more challenging next year, so that, in the case of Saxmundham we may be asked to raise considerably more than the £2,000 required this year. SCC has reserves of more than £150 million. Core services matter – don’t squander taxpayers’ money on expensive social enterprise schemes with no history of success or adequate management skills.

If you believe in holding on to our precious libraries, please ask your local candidate to support this service, which means so much to so many.

JENNIE PINK, Saxmundham

If you want to add to the discussion, please send a letter to the EADT editor now.

County Council election Thur. 2nd May 2013

10 Apr

Flyer

As a campaign group for our public library service in Suffolk, Rosehill Readers works with other library supporters and interested groups who are very concerned at the cuts in funding and dramatic changes to the way in which the libraries are run. All of these changes have been imposed by the large Conservative majority on Suffolk County Council (contrary to the overwhelming views expressed to them by the public in the 2011 ‘Consultation’ process). We urge everyone who cares about the library service we love to get involved in the lead-up to the County Council elections on Thursday May 2nd – in fact, it’s even more urgent than that because many people vote by post, so the message needs to get out to voters now.

Many people don’t realise that SCC have privatised the libraries and cut the funding by a third, not to mention withholding an additional £100,000 which community groups are supposed to raise (surely, that’s double taxation, isn’t it?). Please download our flyer and circulate as widely as you can. There’s a Word format editable version for you to insert your library’s name and your own contact details; there’s also a PDF version with the Rosehill Readers contact details. You can print either version: they’re two sides of an A5 sheet.

This is one of the few opportunities for those who care about our libraries to change things for the better.

May 2013 election flyer for editing

May 2013 election flyer Rosehill Readers

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