Croydon Council’s Labour administration is secretly planning to close four of Croydon’s libraries: Bradmore Green (in Coulsdon), Purley, Sanderstead and Shirley.
The decision was in a report hidden from public and councillor scrutiny for 9 months. The consultants who wrote the report singled out the four libraries as sites for ‘relocation’ and ‘releasing space’. Cutting the spin, the report suggests selling them off and directing users to other libraries, or at the least removing and redeveloping large portions of the library for other uses.
The plans were originally nodded through by Labour at a Cabinet meeting. Information about the report was buried in the meeting papers. The information was only found out because Conservative councillor Helen Pollard, Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture, found a reference in the meeting papers and asked for a copy of the report.
The report, commissioned by Croydon’s Labour-run Council, specifically targets libraries in the south of the borough and Shirley
This is a typical example of Croydon’s Labour council hitting front-line services instead of cutting waste. Croydon Council’s total budget accounting from all income sources (known as Core Spending Power) is actually going up – by £8.2m or an above-inflation 3% this year. The Labour council should spend this extra money on protecting frontline services like libraries, not waste on by letting capital projects go hugely over-budget and by a huge over-reliance on expensive agency staff at the Town Hall.
I have set up a petition opposing the plans to close our libraries. I hope that as many residents as possible sign the petition, so that the council has to realise how strongly we all value our libraries. You can sign my petition here – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/saveourlibraries