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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.

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