Monthly Archives: April 2012

What is the Industrial and Provident Society?

The Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) is an independent not-for-profit organization registered with the Financial Services Authority, and chaired by Shona Bendix. It is currently in the transitional stage to full start-up in June 2012 and is expected to be fully formed in 18 months with a Board comprising of members of local library groups.

Whilst the Council retains its statutory responsibility, and remains publicly accountable for the performance of the whole service, the IPS will form partnerships with library groups and will have collective responsibility for – and control of – the library system. It will negotiate and hold the libraries budget from the County Council on the basis of a service agreement.

Initially, the IPS will take over the employment of all contracted employees, frontline as well as central, through transfers under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) regulations.

Its objectives are to:

  • promote and enable reading, learning and the sharing of knowledge, through free access to book borrowing, electronic and other information services;
  •  as well as books, make other educational, cultural and entertainment materials available for hire;
  •  encourage access to informal adult learning, skills training and employment opportunities;
  • facilitate activities to improve health and well-being;
  • provide welcoming accessible environments where social inclusion and community development can safely prosper in response to changing demographic, socio-economic and educational needs of the people in the area of benefit;
  • build partnerships of shared interests between public, private and voluntary sectors at the heart of communities.

Under the IPS local communities will need to contribute to the costs of the library service, either by raising revenue from activities (other than the free book lending service) or by reducing running costs through self-help schemes, or some combination of these.

To do this, the IPS will help F.O.L.K. determine local needs and priorities, nominate representatives for election to the IPS central board and prepare us for managing our part of the integrated service, and once in place provide ongoing membership support and new business development.

Comment from Shona Bendix, IPS Chairman:

“The people I’m working with in the IPS and library service share a very strong and very clear aim – to do what’s best for the future of the service. This fundamental principle is what’s driving all of us to do what we can to make sure our much-loved libraries are able to flourish and continue to be well-used for decades to come. I’m very much looking forward to working in partnership with the board, library groups and the public to turn those ambitions into reality.”

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This blog was compiled by F.O.L.K. member Sheila Smith using information gathered from

An Article of Note

The following is a transcript of an article written for and published in the February 2012 edition of the Lakenheath Times, our monthly village newsletter, by committee member Cllr Iain Frost to inform the village about F.O.L.K.:

Friends of Lakenheath Library

Hello Lakenheath Times readers,

Last spring our County Councillor Colin Noble hosted a public meeting on how Suffolk’s libraries would be affected as the county council grappled with the cuts they were making to their budget. The meeting at the Memorial Hall was fairly well attended and good natured with the best point of the evening being the suggestion to create a group to help protect and support our library. Myself and several others at the end of the meeting volunteered to join the library group.

In July Colin generously asked me if I would like to take up role of co-ordinator for the group, which I was more than happy to do with my background in the library service and strong desire to ensure we keep our library. Since then we’ve held a few meetings in the village, which have had a optimistic and enthusiastic mood despite the difficulties that we know lie ahead.

At the second meeting of the group we learned that Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet was recommending to the next full council that our library service be transformed into a charitable organisation.

If you have any questions about the Friends of Lakenheath Library then please feel free to ask me about it if you see me in the village or you can go into the library and chat to Chris Howard the manager, we’re both happy to talk to you about the group.

Cllr Iain Frost

Friends of Lakenheath Library

Important Date Change

Due to an unfortunate clash of events in the village on the evening of 16th April 2012, we have postponed our next F.O.L.K. meeting until May. We apologise for any inconvenience this last minute decision may cause, but we believe it is for the best for the group. Rest assured that this postponement does not affect Helen Haynes or Charlotte Clarke’s plans to attend our event, as announced in THIS post.

We are in the process of selecting a new date but are currently looking at evenings in May. Full details will be posted on this blog in due course.

Special Guests

For all of you who are attending our next F.O.L.K. committee meeting (and all of you who may now be tempted), it is my pleasure to announce that two special guests will be joining our cause for one night only!

Helen Haynes is Area Manager of Suffolk Libraries in the North division and Charlotte Clark is the Library Manager at Southwold Library and in the unique position of also being a member on the IPS Board. Helen has agreed to give the ‘Friends’ an informed update on the progress of the Library Service during this transitionary period, while Charlotte is very interested to find out what the group hopes to achieve and will be on hand to answer any of our questions.

Just a Minutes

F.O.L.K. Group 24/08/2012That’s not a typo you see in the title but a masterly way for me to draw your attention to a blog update! This is very much only a first step on the road to a more resourceful website, but you can now access the minutes from the F.O.L.K.’s first committee meeting back in August of last year.

You can reach the page either via the menu bar running above our banner at the top of the screen or by clicking the link HERE.

Keep checking back over the coming weeks as we continue to expand our online library of minutes from all our ‘Friends’ committee meetings.