Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Campaign to save the six Croydon libraries

Picture take by Sue Hamilton

[06.12.10] Green South Norwood ward candidate Sue Hamilton (formerly Sue Ackon) and I joined Labour Party politicians, including Malcolm Wicks MP and the leader of the opposition Tony Newman, to demonstrate against the closure of South Norwood library. South Norwood library is one of upto six libraries earmarked for closure.

The Financial Summary in the Review of the Library Building network paper states:

The Council is considering different ways to make efficiencies. This paper proposes consultation on options for reducing the library building network budget in light of the Comprehensive Spending Review. If a decision were made to change the current service it could result in a reduction in spending of £98k- 664k. In addition it is estimated that there will be savings in the cyclical and responsive maintenance budgets of between £5k and £64k.
The six libraries (listed as Options) in the document are:

Option 1: Closure of Sanderstead Library
Option 2: Closure of Norbury Library
Option 3: Closure of Shirley Library
Option 4: Closure of Bradmore Green Library
Option 5: Closure of Broad Green Library
Option 6: Closure of South Norwood Library
Option 7: Do nothing

Councillor Tim Godfrey felt the doors would be permanently closed on all six libraries.

Libraries are important for social mobility. They offer free Internet access; a warm enclosed space for those that struggle to pay their heating bills, on bitterly cold days like yesterday; and of course books and newspapers. All are essential if you have lost your job, as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review, and are seeking to find work!


Tags ,


David Tran said...

Sash, great post. I'm too a South Norwood resident, but not too many go to this library. It has very little resources and not many people go there. When I was in high school a decade ago, they didn't have the books that I wanted for my studies and had to go to Croydon Lib instead. Whilst I'm not an advocate of closures of public services like this, poor quality libraries don't really have a purpose in this day and age and savings need to be made. That's just my view. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

David, perhaps the fact that you obviously don't frequent South Norwood library, means you don't actually realise that it is popular amongst all members of the community. I try to regularly attend the under 5s activities and the library staff are all fantastic, friendly and enthusiastic people. There are always people using the computers and reading the newspapers. It may not be a large library but be under no illusion that this library will be well missed should it close. It just seems like another attack on South Norwood and its already limited facilities.

Anonymous said...

Sanderstead library, although small, is a valuable community resource the spirit of which, once lost will be gone forever. The government/council is busy opening centres for the under 5s, squeezing them into the already overworked primary schools, when surely, IF such centres are REALLY needed the library would be the ideal venue. To introduce the very young to such a valuable resource gives them the opportunity to read, touch and enjoy books,and to hear the excellent staff tell stories at the regular activity sessions. Ok maybe this library is too small to cater for all members of the community but I thought the buzz word was 'SureStart' so perhaps there should be change but NOT closure. Keep the library, focus more on the very young instead of giving the Primary schools more distractions/security issues. Let the parents 'drop in' at the library and do something worthwhile with their toddlers rather than gossip over tea and biscuits. The Summer Book Trail is worth huge amounts to children's reading and communication skills. PLEASE let the Powers that be listen and Save Sanderstead Librabry.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with the comments about the closure of Sanderstead Library.
It is an invaluable asset to the local area, for both young and old and many residents would miss it.
I and my family are regular users of the library's facilities which were certainly most welcome and useful when my children were learning to read.
The local residents should fight for their local facilities NOW - not when it's too late!!

Shasha Khan said...

Thanks for your comments. Rather than closing these libraries, the council should be investing in them, updating them to meet the demands of a 21st century community. Ref. Thornton Heath library: Since the refurbishment, membership has rocketed.

S Dass said...

I used to work at Broad Green Library for 5 years and it is a vital part of the community. Sasha please remember it too when you campaign against it.

The local Broad Green community is diverse-for many of the residents English in not their first language. The library is the place they can go to get help and support to get write CVs and get jobs. Mostly they cannot afford their own home computers or internet.

For the women of Tamil community there (which is quite large) it is a chance for them to see eachother, get on the computer or improve their English when they bring their children for homework help club or summer book trail.

The local police drop in sessions have also been particularly useful and reassuring especially when there have been burgalries and the fatal stabbing of 17 year old boy Nilanthan Moorthy.

Libraries are not just a place to store books. THEY ARE SO SO IMPORTANT. People need to open their minds as to what a library is and can do for the community.

Anonymous said...

The local Residents' Associations of Norbury are working together the fight the closure of our local library in Norbury. the norht of the borough is underfunded and as far as we can see, unloved. We will fight tooth and nail to stop the closure. there is real anger on the streets, especially as this consultation is being launched at Christmas.

Mark Smith, chair Norbury Green Residents' Association

Shasha Khan said...

Radio 4 had an artistic take on the loss of libraries yesterday:

Standing up for what matters