“LEVEL OF FUNDING MAY NOT BE ENOUGH FOR TRUST TO RUN LIBRARY” – HELEN HAYES MP
FEARS THAT the level of funding for a trust to run Upper Norwood joint library may not be enough have been voiced by Labour MP Helen Hayes.
The Dulwich and West Norwood MP says she will keep working with the trust towards a sustainable future for the library, which she says is a “touchstone” for the Crystal Palace community.
In a letter to Alun and Barbara Thomas who run Norwood Society local history meetings at the library, the Dulwich and West Norwood MP writes:
“Thank you for contacting me in relation to the Upper Norwood joint library. “I know how important this library is to our community in the Crystal Palace area, my children use it regularly.
“There is a long history to Upper Norwood library, which was established over 100 years ago as the first ever ‘joint library’ funded by two London boroughs because of its location on a borough boundary.
“Croydon and Lambeth councils maintained a longstanding commitment to fund the library jointly, until in 2013, the then-Tory-run Croydon council unilaterally announced that they were withdrawing their share of the funding, leaving the library in jeopardy.
“I campaigned hard during that time*, along with my predecessor Tessa Jowell, Steve Reed MP and local councillors, and Lambeth council agreed to support the process of setting up an independent trust to run the library.
“The trust was well supported locally and a group of dedicated local people have put in a huge amount of time to establish the trust and to develop business plans for the future of the library.
“Further work was undertaken to persuade Croydon council to match the level of funding that Lambeth were committing to the trust.
“I am concerned that the level of funding which is now on offer from Lambeth council, to be matched by Croydon council is not sufficient for the trust to run a viable library.
“I have been meeting with members of the trust, and I attended Lambeth council’s cabinet meeting on Monday evening to ask the cabinet to think again about the level of funding for Upper Norwood joint library in order to lever in further funding from Croydon council and to establish the trust on a viable and sustainable basis.
“I will keep working with the trust towards a sustainable future for Upper Norwood joint library, which is a touchstone of our community in Crystal Palace.
“Best wishes Helen.”
*Helen Hayes is also a Southwark councillor and member for College ward which includes Crystal Palace – Ed.