Since 2010 we’ve fought as local councillors to keep the Upper Norwood Library open. When we were first elected, six years ago, the Tory-run administration in Croydon wrote to Lambeth suggesting that the library should be closed and the building sold off. We blocked that from happening & continued to fund the library throughout the Tory attempts to shut it down.
We also started pushing Lambeth officers to work with the local community and library campaigners to have the library building transferred into a community trust so that political administrations couldn’t threaten the future of our library in Crystal Palace.
Since 2012 Lambeth has been working with the Upper Norwood Library Trust, and following the success of Labour in winning control of Croydon council in 2014 we’re now in a position to secure the future of Upper Norwood Library.
From 1st April 2016 the building will be transferred to the Upper Norwood Library Trust and will remain open.
Lambeth and Croydon both agreed to a three year settlement, each providing £60,000 to support the trust (£120,000 in total) each year. The Trust asked Lambeth and Croydon for greater financial support to get them off the ground, and as councillors we backed their calls – and Lambeth and Croydon responded with an extra £25,000 each for the next few years – meaning that the trust will have £170,000 to run the building, employ staff and run services for local people.
Lambeth will continue to provide Wi-Fi, computers, books & work space for local people and Lambeth Librarians will be able to run sessions in the library as required. This puts our library on a sustainable footing – and allows the trust to raise money from commercial and charitable sources to increase their work.
In the Trust’s own words from their website:
- A library fit for the 21st century
- A professionally staffed and properly stocked library at the heart of a community learning hub.
How can we make it work financially?
- Limited local authority financial support
- Both local authorities have promised £60,000 for the next two years.
- The building will be in good repair
- The Upper Norwood Library Trust will use the building to generate income to sustain the library for the future
- The Trust will fundraise, apply for grants and generate revenue to raise the money to sustain a thriving library and building in Crystal Palace
What will it look like?
The whole of the ground floor will remain, more or less, as it is, with the same level of book stock.
We will utilise the promised library provision from Lambeth Council and supplement it with staff and volunteers.
The first floor will be used to develop revenue and grant generating ideas and space for local community activities.