STANDING OVATION FOR ROBBIE GIBSON
LIBRARY CAMPAIGNER Robbie Gibson got a standing ovation after savaging Lambeth’s plans for Upper Norwood joint library.
Losding his temper, Mr Gibson told the meeting: “Residents have said time and time again it should be professionally staffed and properly funded. “Without the staff it’s not a library it’s nasty bull**** spin.
“It’s a shambles and it won’t deliver the £1 million you think you’ll save.”
He recalled how Lambeth had stood by the library against Croydon council – then under Tory control.*
“What you’ve done is worse than the Tories did. “You spent hundreds of thousands of pounds supporting the garden bridge (across the Thames) which was a s****y idea.
“You’re going to give the library £50,000. “You’ve got mid-ranking comms people who get more than that. “It p***** on the hard work of our (library) trust. “We spent long hard days defending the library and we were led to believe you would support us.
“The only thing about these current proposals is that they should be ripped up. “There’s an increasing sense of alienation between Brixton and the rest of the borough.
“Lambeth can do better – so please do.”
Robbie Gibson’s speech got the longest and loudest applause of the night with around a third of the audience standing to applaud.
Mr Gibson has supplied News From Crystal Palace with his planned speech – devoid of swear words – saying: “I was feeling particularly passionate – anything not in them was ad hoc on the night.”
In his notes he had written: “Lambeth could have looked to the Southwark model which has protected its library service. “Or indeed if had wanted to pioneer a radical solution could have worked with staff on proposals which would have seen all 10 libraries move to a staff-led trust boosted by charitable exemption of business rates.
“Instead it has cobbled together a strange unaccountable and unaccounted hotch-potch approach shrouded by toxic spin and a lack of transparency.
“Like many I was hopeful that a takeover of the governance of the Upper Norwood joint library would stop it being a political football. “But it was always envisioned that the Trust would preside over a properly funded professionally staffed library.
“This is not only a betrayal of the amazing library staff set to be junked, it totally disrespects the hard work of the trust whose budgets and business plans have been ignored.”
Upper Norwood Library supporters carried a six foot dinosaur all the way from the Upper Norwood joint library to Dunraven and called on “Lambeth and Croydon not to extinct our library.”
*LIBRARY SENSATION: ‘Croydon tried to close UNJL a year ago – stopped by Lambeth legal action’
November 12, 2012
LIBRARY SENSATION: ‘Croydon tried to close UNJL a year ago – stopped by Lambeth legal action’ CROYDON COUNCIL tried to shut down Upper Norwood Joint Library a year ago, Lambeth council leader Steve Reed has revealed. (To see other related stories on this website, please search ‘Upper Norwood joint library’ Thanks. Ed.)