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Poll: Borrowers rack up £115k in library fines

PUBLISHED: 08:58 05 February 2013 | UPDATED: 08:58 05 February 2013

£115k of library fines have been racked up in Suffolk

£115k of library fines have been racked up in Suffolk

Archant

FORGETFUL readers who failed to return books to Suffolk’s libraries have racked up unpaid fines of more than £115,000 in the past three financial years.

Figures released following a Freedom of Information request show that Suffolk’s library service is owed £115,247.72 from users who have not paid their debts since 2008/09.

The top library with outstanding library fines is Lowestoft with £12,695.55 owed, while Ipswich County came in a close second with £12,586.96.

The other libraries in the top five are Bury with £11,199.98, while Stowmarket is owed £3,728.53 and Haverhill has £3,563.20 outstanding.

However the number of books being brought back late has more than halved in recent years, with £41,033.37 owed in fines in 2008/09 compared to £19,318.25 in 2009/10 and £13,862.73 the following financial year.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said; “Library users have been able to sign up to receive a warning by text or email a few days before their loans become overdue, which significantly helps people to keep on top of renewal dates.

“It has also been made easier for people to manage their accounts online, without needing to visit a library.

“More people are borrowing ebooks, too, which delete themselves from the borrower’s device at the end of the loan period.”

As of December there were 11,989 overdue loans which have not yet been returned, including items ranging from just one day overdue to long overdue items.

The Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) became responsible for the management of Suffolk’s 44 libraries last August, taking over from Suffolk County Council.

Fewer vulnerable people across the region will go hungry thanks to the opening of a new food distribution hub in Ipswich.

Essex County Council is set to put its element of tax bills up by almost 5% from April as it prepares for the day when financial help from the government ceases.

The University of Suffolk has announced Professor Helen Langton will succeed Richard Lister OBE as vice-chancellor this summer.

The amount paid out due to medical blunders at the region’s mental health trust has increased five-fold in five years, new figures reveal.

A father-of-three suffering severe walking problems has spoken of his gratitude to surgeons at Ipswich Hospital after becoming the first patient in the east of England to receive a pioneering knee operation.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said it is “inconceivable” that the Copdock Mill interchange between the A14 and A12 south of Ipswich will not be rebuilt over the medium term.

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