Wordblog asked Suffolk County Council opposition leader Kathy Pollard (Lib Dem) for a comment on the announcment of the plan to set up a Commnity Interest Company to run the libraries (see previous post). This is her response:
At first I believed that the County Council had completely changed its mind about the divestment of libraries to “communities”. Excellent, I thought. As ever the small print revealed a different picture.
The transfer of libraries to a Community Interest Company raises a further series of questions and surely means this is just “Divestment” under a different guise?
How much money will be given to this CIC to run the library service? Will the service still be expected to save more than 30% of its running costs? If so how will that work?
And why was it that Judy Terry seemed determined to go ahead with the closure of some libraries even on Wednesday of last week after she had received nearly 19,000 petition signatures in favour of keeping them open?
It is absolutely and startlingly clear that the people of Suffolk value libraries far more than Cllr Terry. I suspect this small change in direction is meant to be a distraction before the local elections, and designed purely to regain votes.
Once more we are left with a complete lack of detail. People are asking me “What’s happening to libraries?” All is still confusion and uncertainty.
Sandy Martin, the Labour opposition leader has also been asked for a response and that will be published when received.