Subscribe to email updates via Mail Chimp

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:

1 comment:

  1. I am a regular user of Ashburton and Shirley libraries and it has greatly upset me that our libraries are in danger of closing down. In my opinion, Libraries are the most important local service that a local authority can provide. This service is used by all age groups regardless of status and is a must in this changing world. I believe, closing this facility would be step in the wrong direction!
    I urge the authorities to think again!
    Ramesh Gandhi, 61 Barmouth Road , Croydon CR0 5ES