LIBRARY TO GET £47,500 EXTRA FROM CROYDON COUNCIL – Election pledge honoured
UPPER NORWOOD LIBRARY will get an extra £47,500 from Croydon council, a public meeting heard on Monday night.
Cllr Timothy Godfrey, Croydon council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport,
honouring an election pledge to match fund Lambeth council’s contribution to the library, was applauded as he made the announcement in the Upper Norwood Methodist church on Westow Hill.
The money will cover the last six months of the current financial year to March 31st 2015.
Earlier in the meeting, Robbie Gibson, who co-chairs the trust, said Croydon Conservatives (who lost control of the town hall in May this year) had wanted to close down the library.
“What follows should be etched into the folk memory of the Crystal Palace.” More than 200 people came to a meeting in the Salvation Army centre which destroyed any moral legitimacy of Croydon’s intentions. (Google: Bashford ‘bashed’ at library consultation | May 19, 2012 – Ed. )
The library was saved but Croydon cut their grant to the library by £120,000; Lambeth by £40,000. And the library’s reserves had been “pillaged” to pay for funding the redundancies of some senior staff, added Mr Gibson.
“Cllr Timothy Godfrey said Crystal Palace had saved its library. “And while it still has a life, there’s hope. “Despite the uncertainty, the library’s remaining staff have been brilliant, carrying on business as usual.
“But without the continuity of funding provision the trust can’t budget and without that it would not be taking its fiduciary duties seriously.”
The trust had met with Lambeth officers and Cllr Jane Edbrooke, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, the previous Friday. Funding might be reduced marginally but they were 100 per cent committed to the trust – but that also depended on Croydon stepping up its commitment to matched funding. Lambeth hoped to give more detail and comment in Deceber, added Mr Gibson.
The trust wanted commitment from both councils not only to work with the trust but to work with each other, he said.
Croydon’s Labour group had pledged to restore parity of funding. “The trust is a means of escaping the library being a political football.”
“Crystal Palace rolls with the punches and comes back stronger. “But to be brutally honest getting a kicking can be exhausting.
“Without your support everyone in the trust would have been burned out. “We ask you to carry on supporting the library in myriad ways. “Continue to lobby your local representatives. “Contact us with your feedback and suggestions.
“Continue to fight for Crystal Palace – you know what’s right for your area.”