Keeping the Upper Norwood Library Open

Cllrs Niranjan Francis, Jenny Brathwaite & Matthew Bennett with Tessa Jowell MP at the Upper Norwood Library

Over the past four years Gipsy Hill’s Labour councillors have battled Tory-run Croydon’s repeated attempts to close and sell off the Upper Norwood Library.

Back in 2010 local Tories ran for election saying that only they could be trusted with the library’s future.

Straight after the election, Croydon’s Conservative leadership wrote to Lambeth to say that they wanted to make significant cuts in the library’s budget or to close the library. At one point Croydon wanted to appoint a valuer for the building so it could be sold to a developer and tried to send Lambeth half the bill. We are completely committed to keeping the library open, with a properly funded service for residents.

Croydon cut their funding for the joint library back significantly and now, despite under a third of library users being Lambeth residents, the vast majority of the library’s funding comes from Lambeth. We are working together with residents and our excellent librarians to give you more control over the library and to have a greater say in the services that are provided there and we continue to campaign for Croydon to restore funding to allow the library to be open for more than just three days a week.

Matthew, Jenny and Francis said:

“The Upper Norwood Library is a fantastic local resource, much loved by the local community. Crystal Palace has suffered for a long time from being on the edge of five boroughs with all of them passing responsibility for the area to each other. We believe that was the wrong approach and we’ve dug our heels in time and again to protect and preserve the funding for and independence of the Upper Norwood library and to give a community trust, made up of residents across Crystal Palace, greater control over local serivces.”

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