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Campaign group to hold public meeting over record office closure

PUBLISHED: 13:53 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 21 March 2018

Members of the SORO committee, from left Ian Robb, David Finnigan, Russell Walker, Wendy Brooks, Andy Pearce, Trevor Garrod and Bob Collis. Picture: Bob Collis/SORO.

Members of the SORO committee, from left Ian Robb, David Finnigan, Russell Walker, Wendy Brooks, Andy Pearce, Trevor Garrod and Bob Collis. Picture: Bob Collis/SORO.

Archant

The group campaigning against the closure of Lowestoft Record Office has organised a public meeting.

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.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 28, at the Stella Maris Hall in Gordon Road, Lowestoft - the same venue where the Save Our Record Office (SORO) group first met following the announcement by Suffolk County Council back in January.

The council’s decision will see the record office, currently housed in Lowestoft Library, replaced with an unmanned access point by the end of 2019, and all of the documents currently stored there moved to a multi-million pound facility in Ipswich.

Group chairman Bob Collis said: “This is a chance for the people of Lowestoft and Waveney who either have items in the Record Office or who value its continued presence here, to come along and have your say.”

Last month the county council announced it would be putting the plans on hold while a public consultation takes place, which is due to formally start in late spring.

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

Mr Collis said: “We would urge anyone who is against the closure to come along and listen.

“We are not going to go away until we have answers.”

Suffolk County Council has previously said the storeroom in the current record office building is not sustainable to continue holding Lowestoft’s archive material and its basement location means that it is prone to flooding and damp hazards. This, along with the general decline in visitors and the council’s ongoing requirement to make savings in line with its objectives to fill the budget gap of £56m by 2021, means that changes need to be made to the service.

Meanwhile, group founder members Trudie Jackson and Janis Kirby are preparing to hand in the group’s petition to Suffolk County Council, which has attracted 7,000 signatures in just over two months.

Mr Collis added: “We are doing this for the people of Lowestoft and Waveney. This area is steeped in history and we have every right to want to retain our regional archives here in Lowestoft.”

The meeting will start at 7.30pm.

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