LAMBETH COUNCIL is to take over control of Upper Norwood joint library – prior to it being run by a community-based trust.
The move will hopefully bring to an end the uncertainty surrounding the future of the hugely popular icon on Westow Hill.
Lambeth and Croydon councils, who have jointly run the library for the past 112 years, both issued statements announcing their own version of the move.
Lambeth’s press release was headed: “Lambeth saves Upper Norwood library” while Croydon’s was headed: “Boroughs co-operate to secure library’s future”.
The Upper Norwood Library Campaign, welcoming “the progress made by both councils in ensuring a future for the Upper Norwood joint library” said: “We look forward to working with
Lambeth as a caretaker manager during the transition to the local trust taking over the governance of the library.
“The independence of Upper Norwood joint library, public funding from both councils and a service provided by professional staff are lines in the sand for the local community of all five boroughs of Crystal Palace.
“While we are supportive of the main thrust of these proposals we will want to scrutinise the detail. “We would also wish to express our whole hearted continued support for the excellent staff over this process”
Campaigners will be meeting with the councils to get more details. Neither press release from both councils makes any mention of redundancies, Lambeth’s press release stated: “Up to now the library, which is on the boundary between the two local authorities, had been jointly funded. “A decision by Croydon council to cut its contribution by £100,000 provoked a strong reaction from the local community and led to the setting up of the Upper Norwood Joint Library Campaign.
“Under the agreement Croydon Council will transfer to the library building, staff, and agreed budgets to Lambeth
“Lambeth in turn will work with the community-led steering group the Upper Norwood Joint Library Campaign whose aim is to create a new trust which will run the library as ‘a publicly-funded, professionally staffed service’,.”
The deal has been welcomed by Lambeth’s cabinet member for culture and leisure, Cllr Sally Prentice who said: “I am delighted that Lambeth have been able to save Upper Norwood library from closure. “It’s fantastic news for local residents and guarantees the future of this library which is held in high regard by the community.