Tag Archives: Suffolk

SUFFOLK LIBRARIES UNDER THREAT!!!

WHAT IS THE FUTURE FOR WOODBRIDGE  LIBRARY?

The SCC Chief Executive, Andrea Hill  and Council Leader Jeremy Pembroke are pushing through a scheme supposedly to save money by – in effect – privatising Suffolk County Council. Without consulting the people of Suffolk they are planning on ‘outsourcing’ as many staff and departments as possible.
Top of the list are our libraries!!!

You think this is a bad idea? Sign the petition here or online:
http://www.gopetition.com/petition/39430.html

Putting the principle to one side, this hasn’t even been planned or costed – and the timescale is ludicrous. For example, although libraries are due to be “divested” next April, SCC have absolutely no idea of what they plan to do with them.

SCC claim they’re “consulting with communities” – well not in Woodbridge they’re not. Our library has not heard a word about its future. Will libraries remain part of a County network even? The council is strangely silent.

Consultation? They have not consulted us – not you, not me, not anyone. And the plan was certainly not in ANY manifesto. But though they haven’t asked you, you can still give them your opinion. Please, sign this petition and tell your friends!

PS Perhaps the worst thing about this is that the council has just spent a lot of money moving the library from its old, horrid sixties concrete site to the renovated victorian school building that was once New Street school. WHY should Suffolk residents pay good money for a building that is immediately hived off to some external income-generating organisation?

EADT coverage of Suffolk CC appointing consultants without tendering

Article in the Evening Star

Dear Editor

Last week you covered the decision by Suffolk County Council’s Conservatives to spend a further £122,000 of public money on unspecified ‘services’ provided by three consultancy companies: Fields of Learning, Scintillate Business Ltd and DNA (Friday 28 May: New Row over cost of consultants). This was voted through by the Conservatives against strenuous protests from the Lib Dem opposition who maintained – rightly – that at a time of belt-tightening, this is a grossly inappropriate use of public money.

What was the response of the Deputy Leader of the council? “This is a tiny proportion of the county council’s budget!”

It is a tragedy that Suffolk is currently run by people who consider £122,000 a small sum of money. For the average Suffolk resident it is an extraordinarily large sum of money! My local family centre – the Deben Family Centre in Woodbridge – had to close because the County Council couldn’t afford £50,000 to support it! £122,000 is the annual salary for six firefighters. It would buy a family house in Ipswich.

As previously reported in your paper, one of these consultants (Bedfordshire-based Fields of Learning) has already been used by Suffolk County Council. Last year the council spent nearly half a million pounds of Suffolk taxpayers’ money on training which included “neuro-linguistic programming”. If you search the internet for neuro-linguistic programming you will discover it is one of the 10 most discredited forms of intervention in published research – on a par with ‘equine treatment for eating disorders’ and ‘dolphin assisted therapy’. What on earth are we doing spending council tax money on this at a time when we’re having to tighten our belts?

Our new government has just instituted a £500 rule which means that all public expenditure over this sum has to be publically declared – and justified. The people of Suffolk should rise up and demand that the same rule applies to their council!

Yours sincerely

Caroline Page

Published in the EADT 25/May/2010