SUDBURY’S Tourist Information Centre is to be moved to the town library under plans to safeguard both facilities.
The proposal to move the centre from its current location at the town hall and into the former Corn Exchange on Market Hill was given the thumbs up at a meeting of the town council on Tuesday.
The decision was made as part of a pilot scheme designed to save a number of libraries across the county from closure.
Sudbury Town Council has agreed to take on the responsibility of running the library from Suffolk County Council, which is having to introduce big cost-cutting measures.
Councillors were given the option of two business plans, both of which will enable the county council to shave 30 per cent off its library budget over the next three years.
After a seven to six vote to make the discussion open to the public, town councillors disagreed over the next move regarding the library.
Oliver Forder claimed incorporating the TIC into the library was the best option, but Nigel Bennett and John Sayers claimed that splitting the service from its associated heritage centre would be “detrimental”.
“I believe there are alternative models to moving the TIC which need to be considered,” said Mr Bennett.
Concerns were also raised that the main financial advantage of the first option was a saving brought about by staff cuts.
However, town council clerk Sue Brotherwood said the plans did not account for any redundancies, while savings would be made by more effective and efficient deployment of staff.
“We have not assumed at this point that any redundancies will be made,” she said.
“Library staff are very excited and are very grateful the town council is considering this. They feel the future holds something, when before it was very dicey. Likewise the TIC staff.”
Ian Pointon said the removal of job loss fears made the option of moving the TIC more attractive.
Mr Forder added: “This is a real opportunity to improve the services on offer to the people of the town.
“Incorporating the TIC into such a magnificent building is something we should all look forward to.”
Councillors voted unanimously to support the proposal and five members will volunteer to be part of a management group for the library at the next town council meeting.
The business plan is due to go before Suffolk County Council’s cabinet in November and, if approved, the town council will take over running the library in April.
l What do you think to the decision to move the Tourist Information Centre into the library? Let us know your thoughts by writing to us at Suffolk Free Press, Borehamgate, Sudbury, CO10 2EE.