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Suffolk: New chair for county’s library board

PUBLISHED: 14:55 21 March 2012

SUFFOLK: A new chairman is today in post overseeing the board appointed to take over the management of Suffolk’s library services.

Working in partnership with board members, community groups and the county council, Shona Bendix will play a leading role in the future of the county’s libraries.

The chief executive of the Suffolk Association of Local Councils, for the last six years, Ms Bendix has experience of local government having supported town and parish councils and has played an instrumental role in discussions over the future of library services.

Speaking about the challenges ahead, Shona said: “The people I’m working with in the Industrial and Providence Society (IPS) and library service share a very strong and very clear aim – to do what’s best for the future of the service.

“This fundamental principle is what’s driving all of us to do what we can to make sure our much-loved libraries are able to flourish and continue to be well-used for decades to come. I’m very much looking forward to working in partnership with the board, library groups and the public to turn those ambitions into reality.”

Ms Bendix takes the reins from Clive Fox who, as the IPS’ inaugural chairman, took the organisation from the drawing board to the board room – putting in place some of the critical building blocks needed to establish the new organisation as a solid base for Suffolk’s library services.

Suffolk’s Libraries IPS is on track to complete phase one of its development by the end of June 2012, by which time it must be in a position to sign a contract and service level agreement with the county council. At this point, the library service’s 400 employees will move over to the IPS. The body will also then be able to make significant progress in building its membership base across the Suffolk’s 44 libraries.

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