LIBRARY FACING “SAVAGE” CUTS – “Very sad Lambeth and Croydon prepared to treat people of Crystal Palace so badly”
UPPER NORWOOD LIBRARY faces “savage cuts” in funding by both Lambeth and Croydon councils.
The warning comes in an open letter to library supporters from Robbie Gibson on behalf of the Upper Norwood Library Campaign.
“Sadly, once more our community faces savage cuts to its much loved library. “On behalf of the Upper Norwood Library Campaign (UNLC), I was proud to be part of a Friends of Lambeth Libraries delegation that attended the Lambeth budget council meeting evening to oppose the decimation of Lambeth’s library service.
“This includes a massive proposed cut in funding from next year for Upper Norwood library and removing it from Lambeth’s statutory library provision service.
“Croydon seem minded to match these cuts. “It is very sad that Lambeth and Croydon councils are prepared to treat the people of Crystal Palace so badly.
“The Upper Norwood Library Campaign is currently consulting with the community, staff and the Upper Norwood Library Trust and elected representatives to ensure a sustainable future for the library and we need your support.
“There is a lot of information to process and a lot to do. “Frankly we are all tired of this rollercoaster ride and a bit shell shocked.
“But the UNLC felt it was important to communicate with library supporters as we know how passionate the community of Crystal Palace is about its library.
“This is a severe knock. “But one thing we all know is that Crystal Palace has learnt how to roll with the punches.
“A united community is an exceptionally powerful force as seeing off Chinese Developers in Crystal Palace Park and the great work of the cinema campaign so powerfully demonstrates.
“Please write to your Lambeth and Croydon councillors to tell them they should honour their pledges to support our library with proper funding. We call on former Lambeth leader and Croydon North MP Steve Reed to ensure our library is properly funded and urge you to contact him as well. “Actions speak louder than words.”! (Contact details below)
“FIENDISHLY COMPLEX” CONSULTATION LAUNCHED BY LAMBETH
Lambeth have launched a “fiendishly complex consultation” say the Campaign. “We would be very grateful if you could voice your support for our library and staff by calling for it to be properly funded and professionally staffed as called for by the community in both Croydon’s and Lambeth’s previous consultations.
(As previously reported in News From Crystal Palace, proposals – currently out for consultation – would see Upper Norwood, along with the Carnegie library in Herne Hill Road and the Durning library in Kennington Lane becoming community libraries funded by the sales of the Minet library at Brixton and the Waterloo library.
BUT it would mean all three libraries NOT being part of Lambeth’s direct statutory requirement to provide a “full and efficient library service in the borough” by next year, the consultation document says.
The document – ‘Cultural Services by 2020’ – says the libraries could be transferred to independent charitable trusts, community trusts and enterprises under the council’s asset transfer policy.)
The consultation paper has also been criticised by Norwood Action Group which says: “Unfortunately the tenor of the whole thing is flaccid and imprecise leading to concern that the consultation result can be steered in the ‘desired’ direction.
“For instance, in question 1 you are asked to state degrees of agreement or disagreement with “what we are trying to achieve by 2020:
a) No matter where you live in Lambeth you should be within 20 minutes average walking time from affordable activities which will improve your health and wellbeing
b) 85% of Lambeth’s population are engaged in regular cultural, sports and physical activities as a routine part of their lives
c) All residents have choice and affordable access to excellent facilities for cultural, sports and physical activities.
http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/cultural-services-by-2020.pdf (see pages 14-19)
https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=142261891906 (see question 12)
Contacts – please write to:
Gipsy Hill ward councillors – Lambeth
Upper Norwood ward councillors – Croydon
South Norwood ward councillors – Croydon
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
Helen Hayes – Labour Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Dulwich and West Norwood at the coming election – [email protected]