CALLS FOR Croydon council to give the same amount to Upper Norwood joint library next year – £170,000 – as Lambeth council are to come under scrutiny next week.
A specially arranged meeting of Croydon’s scrutiny and strategic overview committee on Friday October 5th will consider a whole range of requests from Labour councillors after they ‘called in’ last week’s cabinet committee decision to give the library just £75,000 in the next council financial year starting April 1st – and have the library run by a community trust from the same date.
Labour are also calling for:
- a funding agreement be put in place that is longer than two years (with annual review), in order to provide certainty for a community trust
- further funding (in excess of £2,500) to be made available for supporting and developing community potential to deliver the service
- for the timetable to be extended or that the council works in partnership to form a suitable group of local residents and staff.
Labour are also asking to see the budget breakdown for ALL Croydon libraries including central overheads“to enable a fair comparison to be made with Upper Norwood library”.
The ‘call-in’ states that the cabinet’s decision : was taken on the basis of a partial paper that did not make fair comparison of running costs between libraries, including central running costs; and;
did not take into account the wide range of services provided by Upper Norwood library, including the important archive and local studies service.
It also states that the timetable and arrangements for transfer to a community trust are not sufficiently detailed and may result in a weak process.
The ‘call in’ also says the cabinet decision did not take into account the views of Lambeth council in co-funders of the library; was taken without considering the available budget in 2012/13; will degrade the service to Croydon residents in the Norwood area;
is inconsistent with the administrations 2010 election pledge to fund the Upper Norwood library to the same level as Lambeth council; that the cabinet did not take sufficient account of the public consultation that clearly indicated a significant requirement for a library in Upper Norwood and that the consultation was “flawed and confusing.”
The meeting on Friday October 5th at Croydon town hall starts at 6.30pm.