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Sunday 17 March 2013

Can you believe #Croydon Labour on libraries?

A press release was issued today and kindly forwarded to the Campaign group as it had not shared directly with us. 

This press release will anger people further.  We are the campaign group in Croydon and no one has heard what we have to say so it is unbelievable that the press release is entitled "Labour Listens to Library Campaigners"

Here is the contents of the press release in its entirely.

Croydon's Labour Leader Cllr Tony Newman and Lambeth Leader Cllr Lib Peck joined forces with Upper Norwood councillor Pat Ryan this week to restate Labour’s commitment to the much loved and treasured Upper Norwood Joint library. Labour Leader Councillor Tony Newman said:  
"Labour councillors have forced an Emergency meeting on Croydon Council for this Monday to defend all of Croydon's libraries; fighting Tory plans to privatise our valued libraries and their staff. The Tories plans to sell our libraries will cost council tax payers in Croydon more money and it will rip the heart out of the libraries vital role in our community. These are not my words but those of library users and campaigners in Croydon.”  
Labour’s spokesperson for Libraries Councillor Timothy Godfrey said: 
"The Upper Norwood Library Trust is a model that the incoming Labour council of 2014 is determined to see rolled out across to other libraries in Croydon. It will give the community a real say in how our libraries are run and what services are provided there." 
Leader of Lambeth Council Councillor Lib Peck said: 
"I was delighted to join Croydon Labour colleagues to reaffirm our commitment to Upper Norwood Library service and supporting Croydon Labour's fight against the Tory cuts to library services and other sectors in Croydon."

Croydon Labour have not forced a meeting.  This is procedure.

Croydon Conservatives do not plan to " sell our libraries".

If Croydon Labour insist on ignoring the views of residents they will have little chance of becoming "the incoming Labour Council of 2014" as no one will trust them. At least the Conservatives kept up the pretence of consulting. It was a totally flawed consultation and ignoring the views of residents but at least they went through the motions.  But Labour, who promised a public meeting that never materialised, are now foisting a plan, built of political dogma, without any engagement with the public.

Where did this come from? Does anyone know?

Is there any party in Croydon likely to actually represent the views and wishes of Croydon residents?

If there are any residents or library campaigners who are in contact with Labour and feeding in these views please do get in touch as we do not know of you and would like to understand where this has come from.

We doubt very much they exist.


  1. How many people does the Save Croydon Libraries Campaign actively represent?

    Is there a membership as such?

    How does one join?

    Is there some sort of rule book, or elections?

    1. We represent any views received and work hard to not only disseminate information but to actively seek views. Another view has been noted on Croydon Neighbourhoods facebook page only today and we've invited this resident to post to our blog so everyone can understand his viewpoint or to at least provide us with further info so we can understand his position.

      Anyone can get involved or write a post. Some prefer to remain anonymous, like you, and we respect that, but we do our best to ensure the views we represent are from residents so please do ping us an email to clarify who you are. We won't disclose this if you prefer us not to.

      If you'd like to get involved, please do.

      Incidentally, are you aware of those supporting the Croydon Labour statement? We cannot identify who this might be but are happy to represent their view. We doubt they exist but remain open to evidence that they do.

      The problem is they are not speaking out to us or to anyone else in Croydon. Does it not seem strange to you that a group in Croydon is all for co-op model yet are on records nowhere with this view?

      We remain open to hearing from them or from you.

      Thanks for posting!

  2. This is absolutely disgrateful. How can they suggest this without any mandate from the residents. Yet another example of "non- democracy" within the Council and another period of uncertainty for the Library staff! Another waste of our Council Tax! Do these people live in the " real" word?

    1. Your view accords with many we have received. Thanks for taking the time to share your view. Please encourage others to do so!

  3. It really is shocking that Labour in Croydon is committed to cancelling the privatisation of our libraries and the continued employment of the staff by the council, at same time as cutting excessive senior management and back office contracts. Front Line First is our priority.

    Whatever next?

    Cllr Timothy Godfrey
    Labour spokesperson for Libraries

  4. The Campaign has no issue with challenging the outsourcing of libraries, Cllr Godfrey. Croydon residents who responded to the consultation do not want this. The Campaign will not be used for any parties political gain so we had to set the record straight. If you can put us in touch with the campaigners and residents you refer to we are happy to engage. Without this we remain sceptical.

    The excessive back office costs and disproportionate loading of expensive contracts on the libraries budget, such as those for maintenance and ICT, were well established from the off, by the likes of Tim Coates, who Labour invited to speak at a shadow cabinet meeting.

    What we do take issue on is Croydon Labour implying the campaign's support for the co-operative model, a model you clearly intend to impose, without mandate. If library campaigners are open to all views shouldn't Labour be listening too?

    If Upper Norwood Library's clearly unique model is equivalent to Labour's co-operative model can you explain why the current staff's jobs are insecure and how the deficit of Croydon withdrawing funding will be overcome?

    We are open to hearing.

    Thanks for posting!