The Suffolk libraries “consultation” is growing ever more bizarre, with Judy Terry, the portfolio holder for libraries telling the BBC, “It may be that some close, but has anyone actually thought that we may open some libraries?”
It looks like desperation as she talks about pubs taking over internet services and schools looking after books. Grasping at straws?. There is of course a traditional political way out of a hole like this — delay things for further consultation.
This formula was used last week by David Cameron when he ordered a “pause” in the NHS reform plans. If it is good enough for Downing Street it should be good enough for Endeavour House.
Caroline Page, the Lib Dem county councillor for Woodbridge, has made a detailed case for an extension and has written to Ms Terry. The case is specifically about Woodbridge library but most of the points apply throughout the county.
All these reasons make it hard for a businesslike case to be made for any ‘expression of interest’ in running a library within the timescale you have set out. The people of Woodbridge are likely to be too well-grounded in reality to want to make any proposal under such circumstances. It would seem a great shame that they should be thus deprived of a chance to have a reasoned and factually supported say in how their local library provision is to be altered.
It is a suggestion which will, no doubt, be in the minds of the ruling Conservative group on the county council as they choose a new leader to replace Jeremy Pembroke who resigned at the end of March.