LAMBETH GIVE LIBRARY EXTRA £25,000 – CROYDON TO FOLLOW SUIT?
Lambeth council have given Upper Norwood joint library an extra £25,000 for the financial year starting April 1st 2016.
A statement from the Upper Norwood Library Trust says: “We are delighted to announce that, following negotiations with Lambeth council over the last two months, we have agreed additional funding of £25,000 per annum over the next two years – an extra £50,000 in total.
“This is in addition to the £60,000 per annum already agreed and will be delivered in partnership with Lambeth council and the London Community Foundation, subject to final due diligence.
“We will be working closely with Croydon council over the weeks ahead to align their funding to give us the budget we need to ensure a thriving neighbourhood library and community hub.
“This is a really positive step in the right direction to ensure that we keep our much loved library at the heart of our community. “Please see the Trust website for further information and continue to show your support through our fundraising page.”
Croydon’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport Cllr Timothy Godfrey, asked for a reaction to Lambeth’s extra funding, told News From Crystal Palace: “We continue to work with Lambeth and the Trust.
“Our manifesto commitment was to match fund the Lambeth support for the Library. “We have fully met that pledge.
“We are also talking to the trust about their wider community plans and how that directly benefits Croydon residents, including what financial assistance we can give them to enable the trust to be sustainable.”
COUNCIL QUESTION OVER UPPER NORWOOD JOINT LIBRARY
Upper Norwood joint library was the subject of a question from a member of the public at Croydon council’s full meeting on Monday:
Question from Mr Scott Roche:
My family have lived in Crystal Palace since the 1880s; the Upper Norwood Library has been a vital part of our community throughout this time. Why after the original pledge of saving this wonderful library and matching the Conservatives commitment, have now withdrawn their financial pledge, and putting the library under threat of closure!
Reply by Cllr Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport:
Mr Roche has clearly misunderstood some of the facts on this matter. The Croydon Labour manifesto promised to ‘match fund’ Lambeth council in our 2014 manifesto. We have kept that promised. It was the previous Conservative administration that worked to dismantle the relationship with Lambeth council regarding the Library.
What Croydon and Lambeth council are reacting to is the instruction from the Conservative government to cut our Library budgets, along with every other budget in the council. This is what we have been trying to do, at the same time as mitigating the impact on the front line service. Both councils are working closely with the Upper Norwood Library Trust to make their community based plans work.
This will enable a library service to continue from the building. The Upper Norwood joint library has served a community across five London boroughs for 115 years. At present Croydon and Lambeth provide equal funding to run the library service. In addition to the neighbourhood library Lambeth has proposed that the building be made available for alternative community use.
We are in discussion with Lambeth about how this would work, but in principle support the concept. The Upper Norwood Joint Library Trust has been developing a varied programme of activities in the building to test how a sustainable model of community use could be put in place. The outcome of their work will inform the decisions about how the building can be used by the community in the future.
I regret the Conservative governments requirement that we cut our budgets and ask that all residents to support initiatives including the Upper Norwood Library Trust to ensure we keep a valued service and a valued building in the service of the local community. (Source: Croydon council website)