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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

#Croydon Defeated Libraries Motion - The facts

The motion put forward by Croydon Labour on libraries was defeated last night.  It is covered in the Croydon Advertiser:
Labour Party motion on Croydon's libraries is defeated,

in the Croydon Guardian here:
Croydon Labour group pledges to tear up libraries contract if they win 2014 local elections

and on Inside Croydon here:
Emergency meeting called on sell-off of Public Libraries
 Questions Pollard must answer over library shambles
 and here:
Council accused of being out of control on libraries

What are the facts?
  • Save Croydon Libraries Campaign represents the views of residents and we seek to hold Croydon to account. We were consulted but no one took account of the views expressed. We know what Croydon residents want as they spoke up in their thousands and we continue to collect views and information. We are non-party political.
  •   We DO NOT support Labour's plans for Co-operative Trusts, as they report. We are yet to find a resident who understands what it means! The campaign has been given no information or consulted by Croydon Labour.
  • JLIS have not pulled out of the contract, as has been reported.
  • Croydon Council must allow the short-listed bidders to resubmit their bids under strict EU procurement rules. There are only GLS and Laing (JLIS) in the running.
  • Croydon Conservatives are trying to downplay the seriousness of the collapse of the procurement process by referring to it as a delay, a pause or a hiccup. This will cause further delay and disruption to our library service, increase stress on staff who have worked under uncertainty for two years now, and will not come cheaply!
  • The Conservatives have lost touch with their duty to serve the residents and for accountability. Cllr Sarah Bashford even claimed in the meeting last night that Cllr Pollard need not have made an announcement about the problem, which he referred to as "a small announcement" in the Budget meeting earlier this month, but could just have issued details in a press release. Cllr Lynne Hale said they were responding 100% as residents wanted!
  • Croydon Labour are pressing for a Co-operative Trust model, without consultation, leaving residents confused and let down. At least the Conservatives went through the motions with their sham consultation!
  • The Save Croydon Libraries Campaign has been used by Labour in their press release and this has been raised directly with them.  The Campaign will work with any political party or organisation in order to resolve the plight of our libraries and would encourage and support a cross party working group to discuss the issues before further grave and costly errors are made.
  • Both parties are now acting without a mandate and this has got to stop!

Croydon residents are passively sitting and waiting to hear the outcome, confused by the misinformation in circulation, whilst our much loved library service decays under cuts by the back door and serious ongoing neglect.

We hope residents will stand up and be counted.  We must stop this as it is not what residents want!

Please let us know your thoughts and, more importantly, what you see as the next key move for Save Croydon Libraries Campaign. 

All information will be treated in confidence.


  1. It is a great shame that the parties cannot work together. Now it seems that Labour is no better than the Conservatives in trying to push through a Community based model without consultation. When will they start to really engage with and listen to Croydon residents? I feel sorry for library staff who undoubtedly face yet a further period of uncertainty and continued pressures at work. Proper consultation with residents and/or a cross party working group would seem to be a way forward. At the moment there seems to be too many mixed messages and confusion which is not helpful to anyone.

  2. Anyone wanting an insight into the 'co-op' council model especially in relation to libraries should read an article recently published in Red Pepper mamagzine
    which strips back the spin and raises some very serious concerns. The issues and concerns raised in the article are the same ones that have been fedback to me by people actually on the ground in Lambeth and that is a sham consultation process which totally disregarded service users and staff and 'the 'co-op' label being used as a smokescreen for divestment, shared services, job and budget cuts and volunteer run services, one person described it to me as 'Labout Party outsourcing'!