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.