Our local libraries are once again under threat of permanent closure. Sanderstead and Bradmore Green in Coulsdon are two of at least five libraries across the borough that could be shut down due to the Council’s bankruptcy. These closures would mean the loss of around half our local libraries.
At the end of last year Croydon Council’s Director of Finance officially declared the Council bankrupt. This is a direct result of the Council’s Labour run administration losing control of its finances and creating £1.5 billion in debt. This debt costs £43m a year and we are now seeing the impact that this is having on services. Croydon is the only one of London’s 32 Boroughs in this situation. This is the result of terrible mismanagement that far predates Covid. The same people who bankrupted the Council are the ones who are running it today.
Cutting important services like the libraries however is not the answer to the Council’s financial problems. This is a deliberate decision by the Labour administration to target areas where they don’t think they will lose votes in the future. The amount of money that would be saved by closing the libraries is a drop in the ocean of the Council’s debt – just £0.5 million per year would be saved, compared to the £250 million that the Council is putting into their loss making developer, Brick by Brick.
Last year I set up a successful campaign to stop plans to close libraries in Coulsdon, Sanderstead, Purley and Shirley. At the time the Labour run Council denied these plans (which were not originally going to be released to the public) and promised to keep all the borough’s libraries open.
Our local libraries are incredibly important for our community, especially for the elderly, and for families with young children, and I know how much they mean to residents. I have set up a petition for residents to sign so that we can show the Council just how important they are for people living in our area. You can sign it here – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/savecroydonlibraries – however, it’s incredibly important that as many people as possible sign this petition, so please do share it with your friends, family and neighbours.