I have been informed that a Save Suffolk Libraries Petition was handed in to Suffolk County Council this morning. Portfolio Holder Judy Terry was quizzed and said to protestors “you just don’t understand…” I have also been informed that a certain local hard left blogger‘s reply to Judy Terry was “I suppose we’re just stupid.”
I don’t understand either. The petition says something along the lines of “We the undersigned, believe that Suffolk County Council has a duty of care to maintain libraries and keep them under county council control”
If the petition had said “We the undersigned, believe all should be done to keep libraries open for the good of the community” I would have signed it myself but I can not sign a petition which effectually says “We the undersigned are socialists.”
Ipswich Labour have produced a leaflet with “Save our Library” written in big red capital letters. It asks you to display the top half of the leaflet with “Save our Library” on it in your window. I’ve only seen one of those leaflets displayed in a window in the whole of Ipswich.
The leaflet has pictures of Rosehill Library, Westbourne Library and Dame Bryony in Stoke Library. The leaflet then states the lie that ‘all are scheduled to close under the Tories’ and says that ‘Ipswich Labour have other plans’
As far as I’m aware, there are no libraries scheduled to close.
The Labour leaflet states that “At Ipswich Borough Council’s Budget Meeting, Labour councillors put forward a costed plan to take over the running of Ipswich’s three threatened libraries, and keep them open and run by professional librarians.”
That ‘s not true. They have a plan to use locality budgets to pay library staff but have not put buildings insurance, employers liability insurance, electricity bills, lighting, repair and restocking of books, PC maintenance or anything else into account. I guess that’s what happens when most people in your party are public sector workers with no experience of business..
The leaflet then says that their plan was thrown out because Tory and Liberal councillors voted it down. It was voted down because Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors did the maths. The locality budgets equal £240,000. It would cost IBC £140,000 to run Westbourne library. The plan doesn’t say where the extra money needed to keep open Westbourne, Rosehill and Stoke Hall would come from. But we have a good idea. The leaflet also states that if a Labour Council is elected on 5th May, they would amend the budget and save the libraries without increasing Council Tax. So we know that the money would come from borrowing. Labour always borrow lots of money and leave whoever replaces them with a massive debt. That is why the borough debt is now 18 million when it was over £90 million in the 1990’s The borrowing would eventually lead to higher council tax bills. The reduction of Labours debt is what has enabled Ipswich Borough Council to reduce Council tax by 1%
Mark Bee was right to immediately announce a reprieve for school crossing patrols after his election and now there needs to be a similar announcement regarding libraries. We do not know what significant approaches have been made to Suffolk County Council in regards to the running of libraries recently and if there has been it would be useful if the people of Suffolk were informed. Suffolk County Council also need to clearly state that no libraries will cease to be under direct county control unless or until a suitable alternative arrangement has been found.