Plans for Upper Norwood Library will go before scrutiny committee

Croydon Guardian: Upper Norwood Library plans to go before a special scrutiny committee on Friday Upper Norwood Library plans to go before a special scrutiny committee on Friday

Plans to cut the amount of funding given to Upper Norwood Library will go before a special scrutiny meeting this week.

At Croydon Council’s Cabinet meeting earlier in September, it was announced that the Council were prepared to offer £75,000 a year to keep the service open as well as handing it over to the community.

It is more than £100,000 less than the £187,000 the council currently pays towards running the library.

Earlier this year Lambeth Council promised to pay £170,000 towards the service, also a reduction on what was previously allocated.

But Croydon’s Labour Councillors have called for the decision to go before the scrutiny committee, which will take place on Friday 5 October, in the Town Hall at 6.30pm. The meeting will be open to the public.

Timothy Godfrey, Labour’s spokesperson for Culture, Libraries and Sport said: “This gives the Conservative council a vital chance to listen to local people and think again about their plans to slash the funding and the service.”

Robert Gibson, of the Upper Norwood Library Campaign, said the group welcomed the opportunity to discuss the proposals.

He said: “We have serious concerns that Croydon Council is proposing an even bigger cut in funding than many had feared, from about £187,000 in the current year to £75,000 in the year beginning in April 2013 - a cut of some £112,000.

“This compares with a Lambeth Council cut of £41,000. This reduction in funding is hugely greater than is being imposed on other libraries in either Croydon or Lambeth.

“It appears likely to lead to a halving in the number of library staff, with serious implications for the level and quality of the library service.

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