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Campaign to save record office steps up as more than 5,000 people sign petition

PUBLISHED: 17:24 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:27 14 February 2018

The SORO group campaigning to save Lowestoft Record Office. 

Picture: Nick Butcher

The SORO group campaigning to save Lowestoft Record Office. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

More than 5,000 signatures have now been collected in the fight to save Lowestoft’s record office.

The Lowestoft Journal is backing the Save Our Record Office (SORO) campaign. Picture: Archant. The Lowestoft Journal is backing the Save Our Record Office (SORO) campaign. Picture: Archant.

And as the campaign gains momentum, a date has been set for a meeting with members of the Save Our Record Office group (SORO), along with Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Suffolk County Council.

The campaign group was formed following an announcement on January 10, when the county council said the record office based at Lowestoft Library would be replaced with an unmanned access point by the end of 2019. The decision would also see the documents currently stored there moved down to Ipswich.

And after weeks of collecting signatures, through an online petition and hard copies available at local businesses, 5058 people have now pledged their support.

The record office is based at Lowestoft Library. 
Picture: Nick Butcher. The record office is based at Lowestoft Library. Picture: Nick Butcher.

However Trudie Jackson, who set up the SORO group with Janis Kirby, said they are still seeking answers to how the decision was reached.

She said: “Thanks to SORO supporters on the county council we managed to get the council scrutiny committee to agree to reviewing the procedures that lead to the decision to close the Lowestoft record office.

“We have been told the committee will report back on February 20, so we await their decision.

Janis Kirby and Trudie Jackson, leaders of the Save Our Record Office group. 
Picture: Nick Butcher. Janis Kirby and Trudie Jackson, leaders of the Save Our Record Office group. Picture: Nick Butcher.

“In the meantime we continue campaigning to show the strength of feeling in our area that this important resource should stay in its area of most significance. We have been reassured of the continued support of our local MP Peter Aldous in our fight to retain Lowestoft Record Office and we thank him for that.”

A county council spokesman confirmed that the review is under way.

A date has also be scheduled for the first meeting with all three parties since the council agreed to halt its plans for the changes. It is due to take place next Friday, February 23, at Lowestoft Library, with Mr Aldous chairing the meeting.

Mr Aldous has also written to Colin Noble, leader of the county council, and Tony Goldson, cabinet member for health, asking for some of SOR0’s questions to be answered ahead of the meeting. They include why the decision was made without a public consultation.

The petition can still be signed online at www.change.org/p/tony-goldson-save-our-record-office

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