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Monday, 16 May 2016

The revised revised deadline - You can still submit your responses to Croydon Library survey

Having extended the deadline once, from 2 May to 16 May, due to the low response rate, it's been extended again, although without notifying the residents of Croydon.

Allan Nimmo, the Council Officer responsible, has confirmed that although the online survey closes today, he will accept paper copies completed received "in the next few days".

So, if you haven't had your say, take a look at our leaflet, here, containing useful information such as pitfalls to look out for,

Save Croydon Libraries leaflet

And, download a copy of the survey to complete:

Croydon Libraries Survey

And do let us know how you get on.

The clear agenda of our Labour council...

Result of the Croydon Advertiser poll
And a few images of our libraries...

Is this the offer we want for our children?

Unstaffed floors in what was one of the busiest libraries in England...

Signs at the ready.... IT issues in all libraries

Croydon's promotion of reading for our younger residents....

Monday, 9 May 2016

Croydon libraries survey and a flyer with useful info to help you and others respond

The Croydon libraries consultation has been extended until 16 May 2016 as so few responses had been received by the original closing date.

Few still know of the consultation, so please spread the word.

Be aware that people who have completed the online survey have had issues. See the notes on page 2 of the flyer below.

Download the flyer here.

Download a copy of the Croydon library survey, here.

Do let us know your thoughts...

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Add your voice to the Save Croydon Libraries Campaign...

Information has gone out via two well-meaning sources who believe Croydon libraries are to close, along with a roughly scanned copy of the libraries consultation. This is not done on behalf of the campaign. This information also, unfortunately, went out with the council's glossy spiel about investing in libraries and that Croydon libraries are fully-staffed! Anyone visiting a library in Croydon knows that is far the case. The council's statement made about Upper Norwood Library being saved is also untrue.  As of 1 April 2016, it became a self-serve facility. The few staff remaining are only there to issue current library users with new cards for the new facility which will have no librarians or library staff.
This is not what Upper Norwood Library campaign fought for and a battle the new Trust now has to take on. The local politicians seem to think this is perfectly acceptable and wave on the loss of staff with a few platitudes...

That is a battle now for the newly formed Trust to take forward...
So, Getting involved and staying informed
If you want to stay up to date with the Save Croydon Libraries campaign - a campaign covering all thirteen Croydon libraries - please join the list at You can join the facebook group to discuss matters and follow the local campaigns on Twitter.
You can comment on this website, or even contribute a post.

Contribution to the survey
There is a clear PDF of the Save Croydon Libraries website, in the last post, which also explains the issues people have been having so that people are forewarned before completing the survey.
The intention of providing this was twofold. It meant that residents could share the survey with those not online who may want to express a view. It also meant that those who were able to complete it online could consider the survey first before completing it online, therefore avoiding the issues some have reported of the survey closing before they've had time to add comments they wished to make.

It is not provided purely to increase the workload of the council officer responsible, who will have to manually input responses provided in this way, not to increase the workload of the limited number of staff still in our libraries!

The Campaign is not encouraging everyone to do a paper copy as the information in circulation from other sources appears to imply. If you are providing a copy to someone else, please provided them with the PDF attached here, and not a scanned copy that is not as legible.


Croydon Libraries survey

You may even like to defer responding until after the public meeting.

Public Meeting - 26 April 2016
The public meeting is being called by the community for the community, in the absence of any of any public meetings being called by the council. Councillors Timothy Godfrey and Lynne Hale have been invited to attend to answer your questions and hear your views.

Places are limited. Please see the full details and book a place if you plan to attend. See:

Please spread the word!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Have your say ....the Croydon libraries survey

The ruling Labour administration claim to be ambitious for libraries yet it is unclear how they could be any more unambitious for libraries or in seeking the views of residents.

The survey
It helps the council officer responsible if you can complete the survey online, but it is useful to view the documents before you attempt to do it online so you have time to consider your answers and in order to avoid the issues people have had, as listed below.

Please keep a note of the responses you give, particularly your comments, so we can be sure they are reflected in the final report. These can be emailed to

If you prefer to do a paper copy, don't be put off from doing so.

One library at least has been given paper copies to offer out yet others have no paper copies at all Some residents have managed to get a copy by post, others have been denied this.

 This is far from a fair process.

And the survey has been widely criticised, both by those who have managed to access it and by those from further afield.

Please complete it online, which you can find here:

or complete a hard copy, which you can request from a library, or which you can download to use and share with others by clicking on the link below.

'Libraries for the future - we want your views' survey 

Please keep a copy so we can be sure that all views offered are registered.

And don't forget to book to attend the meeting called by the community.  Places are limited.  See details and link below.


Misinformation and scare tactics
First, the Croydon rumour mill went into overdrive, with Timothy Godfrey, the Cabinet member responsible, making a statement about having no legal duty to provide anything other than the statutory ones for Croydon which might be interpreted as just Croydon Central Library.

There were rumours of an engagement exercise, but the details could not be found. This is all based on Croydon Labour's pre-election promise to reverse the sell-off of Croydon libraries, with grand statements about commitments to rip-up the libraries contract with Carillion prior to the election, a plan that was shelved when in power.

Failure to consult
The consultation/engagement/survey was launched very quietly in late March, with no details on display in libraries and no consultation documents on offer in libraries, and the council officer responsible emphatic that there would be no notices or displays to advertise the consultation, nor paper copies made available as the survey must be completed online.

Those wanting a paper copy have to request one, in person, at a library. Their process advised was that the details would be taken and passed to the council officer who would then post a single copy out.  In some cases at least, the request had to go via the library manager before being passed on. Some residents have received a copy via this route.  Others have not.

Those completing it online express concerns about the survey being hard to complete, playing up or that it closes before the respondent has had a chance to say all they want to say.

The only meeting on libraries is one by the community
There are no public meetings planned, only focus groups, the location and time of which are secret. There is a public meeting called to discuss the issue, but this is a meeting called by the residents for the residents. Whether or not Cllr Timothy Godfrey will attend remains unclear, as was the case when he failed to respond to requests to attend a meeting, again called by the community, on the fate of the Fairfield Halls.  Cllr Lynne Hale has accepted the invitation to attend and Conservative councillors have given some indication that they are concerned about the lack of clarity on plans and the poor advertising of engagements on Croydon libraries and on Croydon parks...

Please book a place if you plan to attend as demand is likely to exceed capacity. For details and updates, see:

Monday, 11 April 2016

It's proving extremely hard to have a say in Croydon's libraries consultation

Croydon Council claims to be consulting on libraries and seeking the views of residents but they have been very quiet about it.

The information is only posted online, excluding a great number of people, although residents and campaigners have reported the appearance of an A4 notification pinned up in some libraries from Thursday 7 April, 2016.

Some libraries have displays regarding the consultation.

Others have none.

One library has received hard copies to distribute, but copies are hidden from view and staff will only release them on request.  These versions are numbered by hand, leading to residents questioning the anonymity of the responses.

Others libraries have no paper copies on offer.

Told that anyone can ask for a paper copy, the campaign knows that this is untrue. People have been refused a paper copy, although following the procedure of visiting a library to request one.

There are no public meetings planned by the council.

There is mention of focus groups but details of when these will be held and where are not being shared.

Please do not be put off by the Councils's obfuscation.

Anyone with a view is entitled to their say and should do so.

The greatest concern of the campaign is that those least able to access information online are being prevented from contributing their views.

And those with online access have reported issues, including that the survey is not accepting responses or closes before the respondent can add all they want to say.

Do share your experiences of accessing the survey and your ability to get a hard copy.

We'll be making a copy available shortly.

And, don't forget to book a place for the public meeting on the Croydon Libraries Consultation which is being  hosted by the community, for the community in the absence of the Council holding a meeting.  Limited places.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Meeting on Croydon libraries consultation - 26 April 2016

Croydon Council has no plans for public meetings on libraries to consult residents.

A recent community meeting highlighted that residents were generally unaware of the current consultations running and this includes the libraries consultation so a public meeting has been called and Cllr Timothy Godfrey and Cllr Lynne Hale have been invited.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 in central Croydon.

Places are limited so if you want to attend, please book a place.

The focus of the meeting is only on the Croydon libraries consultation and the meeting is strictly apolitical.

Full details are here:

Is this the future we want?
Facebook: Save Croydon Libraries
Twitter: SaveCroydonLibs

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Croydon shy of consulting on libraries - Have your say!

Croydon Council is consulting on libraries but is very reticent to promote the fact.

When Croydon consulted on just six libraries in 2011, paper copies of the consultation were plentiful and included a version to canvass the views of children. The consultation documents were regularly replenished in the libraries.  Public meetings were held in large venues in the local areas of the libraries affected.

This time round, the situation is very different.

Members of the Save Croydon Libraries Campaign have been monitoring the situation and we urge more to step forward to join the campaign or feed in views.

How to contribute....

You have to have online access to know of the consultation, which was launched on 22 March, 2016, or to respond.

There are no notices in libraries and the council officer responsible advises that there is no intention for there to be any notices in libraries, or elsewhere, to advertise the consultation.

Those who have asked for a hard copy in order to have their say have gained access, but only after jumping through hoops to do so. The procedure is that the person needs to provide their details at a library, which library staff then pass on to the council officer responsible, who will then post a single copy of the consultation document out. The onus is placed on the respondent to post the completed document back to the officer at Bernard Weatherill House or deliver it to the library, requiring the limited number of staff to scan the consultation document to forward to the responsible officer.  It is very unclear here how confidentiality is maintained.

Members of the campaign have managed to get just 100 hard copies released to just one Croydon library. Members and library users elsewhere have been told categorically that no hard copies will be made available.

Drop into a Croydon library to request your copy and copies for friends, neighbours and community groups.