Hello, my how time has flown by. Both the pool and the library have been making good progress in their respective campaigns, so let’s have a look at what they have been up to.
There was a good turnout for the public meeting held at the library back on 24 February. Guest speakers included Alison Wheeler, Chief Executive of the Libraries IPS (Industrial Provident Sciety) and Mark Ling Chairman of the Broomhill Pool Trust. Alison explained how the new cooperative body for Suffolk’s libraries would work, while Mark Ling updated everyone with developments on the pool. Both took open questions from the public.
On 13 March it was subsequently announced by SCC that the Ipswich Library Manager’s pilot scheme would close, thereby that each library in Ipswich would work directly with the IPS. In simple terms this now means that all 44 of Suffolk’s libraries (including Westbourne) will run their own branch reporting directly to the IPS cooperative. The supply of books, upkeep of buildings and provision of staff will be overseen by the IPS, with community groups (such as FWL) having a voice and key role in the running of their respective branches. The proof will be in the pudding.
Also on 13 March, Westbourne Library played host to Ipswich Borough Council’s North West Area Committee (comprising of Councillors from Whitton, Whitehouse and Castle Hill). The meeting was well attended by local people. However there was genuine concern that due to absurd ward boundaries that Broomhill Park, Pool and Westbourne Library had been moved in 2001 into St Margaret’s Ward, where local people living next to those assets were represented by Castle Hill councillors. Most resident were still totally oblivious to this important change to their boundaries, and it was claimed that this had weakened the accountability of local councillors over key assets and led to a direct decline in he area.
On a positive note, Suffolk County & St Margaret’s Ward Councillor Inga lockington kindly purchased 20 new folding chairs for the library for meetings etc from her locality budget. Along with our new powerpoint projector and décor we believe Westbourne has enjoyed a superb makeover!
With the recent good weather, Community Payback teams set about clearing Broomhill Road Gardens. The project took nearly 3 weeks in total to complete, with teams sawing, chopping and wading through 9 years of overgrown gardens at the top of Broom Hill Road & in the Broom Hill cut. The gardens are completely clear now. One big problem was what to do with the mass of branches and foliage, etc. Tim Snook at Ipswich Borough Council’s leisure team came to the rescue – arranging for the parks dept to come with a huge industrial sized chipper and shredder; and take it all away. Along with the garden clearance, Payback teams also took on the dreaded weeds to clear Broomhill’s beloved sun terraces and grandstand.
On 29 Feb, year 1 UCS art students visited the pool as part of their drawing assignment as part of their project work for university.
The Broomhill Pool Trust in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council are also about to carry out works to Broomhill’s car park, to fill the dreaded pot holes and level off the surface.