Anger over library link closures

RURAL areas of West Suffolk are set to lose vital library services following a shake-up due to Suffolk County Council budget constraints. Library link sites in Ingham, Great Barton, Horringer, Risby, Stanton and Rougham will be closed and replaced by mobile library stops.

RURAL areas of West Suffolk are set to lose vital library services following a shake-up due to Suffolk County Council budget constraints.

Library link sites in Ingham, Great Barton, Horringer, Risby, Stanton and Rougham will be closed and replaced by mobile library stops.

Suffolk County Council announced the decision last night and said it was because of the need to save money due to a tighter budget.

However opposition councillors have criticised the move saying the library links provided a valuable service for rural communities and those with disabilities.


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Roger Bellham, Labour lead for adult care and community services, said: “I don't think these closures should be happening because I disagree with all cutbacks that are taking place because of budgetary constraints.

“It's a real shame because many of these libraries provide a great community service. Moreover people with learning disabilities can be taught a lot through them but now it seems as if this will be lost.”

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Jane Midwood, portfolio holder for adult care and community services, defended the move saying that an acceptable alternative had been found.

“We had to rethink the library links service because of the budget savings we needed to make, but we have been able to provide an excellent replacement so that people can still access library services,” she said.

“Mobile libraries are a great community resource and I am sure these new stops will be a welcome addition in these villages.”

The Horringer service will close today and will be replaced by a mobile library stop at Meadow Drive between 3.25pm and 3.50pm every other Sunday starting on April 2 along with a stop outside Six Bells at 9.15am to 9.30am every other Thursday from April 6.

Meanwhile services at Ingham, Great Barton, Risby and Rougham will all close a week today.

The Ingham service will be replaced by a mobile library stop outside the Cadogan Arms between 9.15am and 9.35am on alternate Wednesdays from April 7.

The Great Barton service will be replaced by mobile library stops every four weeks on Tuesdays, starting on April 4, at Moreland Avenue between 9.15am and 9.35am, Oakhampton House at 9.40am to 10.15am and the Free Church at 10.20am to 10.40am along with a stop outside Peacehaven in Brands Road at 4.40pm to 4.55pm every four weeks on Fridays starting on April 7.

The Risby service will be replaced by mobile library stops at The Green between 2.30pm and 2.50pm and at The Avenue/Church Close junction at 2.55pm to 3.20pm every other Sunday starting on April 9.

The Rougham Bookends service will be replaced by mobile library stops at Mouse Lane, between 9.20am and 9.35am, outside James Stiff Cottages at 9.40am to 9.55am and at Kingshall between 10am and 10.15am every four weeks on Fridays starting from 7 April.

Stanton will close on April 3 and there will be new mobile library stops at Stanton Stores between 9.35am and 9.55am and at Hilltop between 10am and 10.15am every other Thursday starting on April 6 along with stops at the former OAP home at Field Court, between 12.15pm and 12.35pm, at Stanton Stores between 12.40pm and 1.20pm and at Bury Road at 2.25pm to 2.35pm every other Wednesday starting from March 29 and another stop at Shepherds Grove between 11.10am and 11.35am every other Tuesday starting from April 4.

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