Ipswich Borough Council has decided to act to save libraries and school crossing patrols in the town.
The ruling Executive committee last night (Tuesday 31st May) overturned a policy of the previous administration to invest £240,000 in locality budgets and pledged the cash instead to keeping local libraries open and to save any school crossing patrols that might be axed by the County Council.
Borough Council Leader David Ellesmere said: “We made it clear in our manifesto that we would divert this proposed funding towards saving key services if we were returned to power so we are now honouring that pledge. Residents have demonstrated through petitions, at meetings and through correspondence that these services matter to them and during the current uncertainty we will not stand by and watch them being axed.”
The Executive agreed to commit £54,000 in 2011/2012 and a further £156,000 for on-going funding to a special war chest should the County Council decide to cut these services in Ipswich.
Ruling Councillors also instructed the Chief Executive to inform Suffolk County Council of its readiness to step in and to ask for urgent talks on the future of libraries and lollipop patrols. The locality funding has been suspended at least until 1st October when the Executive will review the situation.
Councillor Ellesmere added: “The pressure put on Suffolk County Council by the Borough’s decision is already paying off. Following the Executive meeting I have received an email confirming that the County Council will reverse its decision to axe the 15 crossing patrols currently in Ipswich.”