Suffolk Libraries agrees new five-year contract with Suffolk County Council

Tony Brown, chair of Suffolk Libraries board (middle left), signing the contract extension with Abdu

Tony Brown, chair of Suffolk Libraries board (middle left), signing the contract extension with Abdul Razal, Suffolk County Councils director of public health and protection (middle right) at Ipswich County Librarys Northgate Room. Far left: Sylvia Knights, vice chair of Suffolk Libraries; Colin Rockall, Suffolk Libraries board member. Far right: Tony Goldson, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES - Credit: Archant

Libraries in Suffolk have been given a boost after the organisation set-up to save and run them agreed a new five-year contract with Suffolk County Council (SCC).

Suffolk Libraries became a separate organisation from the authority in 2012, helping to save all 44 branches, but relies on SCC for its main source of funding. SCC also contracts Suffolk Libraries to run the service on its behalf.

Suffolk Libraries has announced it has agreed a five-year contract with an option for a further five years.

At the end of 2016, the Suffolk Libraries Board voted unanimously to trigger the five-year extension to the current contract from August 2017.

Tony Brown, chair of Suffolk Libraries’ board, said: “We are delighted to be renewing our contract with Suffolk County Council.

“We feel that Suffolk’s library service is in good hands and that Suffolk Libraries, with the foundation and support it has built up over the past five years, offers the best chance of successfully meeting the challenges ahead.

“We were also pleased to receive assurances from the county council about its commitment to the library service in Suffolk.

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“There have been many highlights over the past five years; all 44 libraries are open, with an impressive range of activities, events and innovations, whilst saving a significant amount of money.

“The Suffolk Libraries Board would like to pay tribute to the extraordinary staff and enthusiastic members of the many community groups who have helped to make our story a success.”

Tony Goldson, cabinet member for health at SCC, said: “Libraries play an integral part in the community and offer people so much more than simply book lending. They are increasingly becoming community hubs where people come together to socialise, access information on local services and hold events for people of all ages to enjoy.

“I am pleased Suffolk Libraries unanimously voted to extend their contract with us to continue running services for a further five years, and now we have signed the contract, I look forward to working with their team in months and years to come to continue delivering this valued service to Suffolk’s residents.”

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