LAMBETH AND CROYDON SLAMMED OVER LIBRARY POLICIES – “Every single library user will feel totally betrayed by Labour”
The chairman of the Upper Norwood Library Campaign has slammed the behaviour of both Lambeth and Croydon councils over their library policies.
In an open letter to various Labour councillors and MP’s, Robbie Gibson says of the two council’s various plans: “Trying to say they are not decimating library services because a building is still open but there is no staffed service is utterly dishonest and dangerous.”
Mr Gibson says the Upper Norwood Library Trust, of which he is a former co-chairman, have always fought for management of the building and retaining a professional library service with funding from both boroughs.
“Every single library user will feel totally betrayed by Labour.
“We will do our very utmost to defend our community and our library service and to hold every politician to account who does not side with us.
“We had a unique formula with funding from Lambeth and Croydon for serving cross-borough need for 115 years and now its being smashed up.
“We haven’t spent five years of our lives battling Croydon and Lambeth over the library to be happy with a community centre with no library staff or any decent provision of library service.
“Lambeth can put this right but for whatever blinkered reason no-one is making this right.
“Lambeth own head of libraries delivered a solution on a plate. “Instead of working with staff and the community you are backing some back-of-an-envelope totally uncosted PR disaster and Croydon is going to follow Lambeth blindly into the same mess.
“I promise you Labour will feel the impact of its library policy across from Waterloo to Croydon.
“By whatever means is available to us we will hold the politicians who have failed us to account.
“If you really don’t think we aren’t capable of using the media, law and politics for the next two years to elections you don’t know the people of Crystal Palace or Lambeth.
“And believe me, what ripples out from Crystal Palace will go five ways. “Dulwich and West Norwood constituency and countless Lambeth wards have tried to tell politicians (what) the impact of destroying services and communities rather than standing by them is doing.
“I’m seriously considering whether I can still be a member of the Labour party. “If I leave it will be in a very public way and I won’t be leaving by myself.
“Labour are acting like the Tories voting for things they know that they are wrong.
“To save libraries is a piddling sum, getting a handful of developers to pay into a fund for extra planning gain or to get them to hand over their ground rents would sort this all out. “Instead you are going to create sores all over your constituencies and wards that will only fester.
“Please do something before its too late. “If you think Momentum* are worrying, you haven’t seen anything yet.
“Yours in complete and utter exasperation. Robert Gibson”
*Corbynite group within (and outside of) the Labour party. Its website says: “As the successor to the campaign to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party, Momentum is a Labour party focussed organisation.”