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.

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