CROYDON COMMENTARY: ALUN and BARBARA THOMAS have sent an open letter to their local councillors, decrying the decision of Lambeth and Croydon councils to cut funding for Upper Norwood Library
We are concerned at the latest developments concerning the funding of the Upper Norwood Library. We have been misled in assuming that future funding was secured at a level to ensure the future of the library. Some nine months ago MP Steve Reed and Tony Newman launched the “Upper Norwood Library Declaration” which created a sense of false optimism.
We now learn that both Croydon and Lambeth are to reduce their commitment to a total of £100,000 per annum, which is insufficient to cover costs let alone the expansion promised in the “Declaration”. We are disappointed that this promise has been broken and remind you that the Upper Norwood Library is the vital heart of the Crystal Palace community.
It is not realistic for local residents, particularly the elderly and those with young children, to be expected to travel to Croydon or Brixton to access library services. Also students who regularly use the library for study will, like young families, have difficulty meeting the travel costs incurred.
In addition the Upper Norwood Library is a valuable local history resource. The Norwood Society has frequent local history enquiries from far and wide, and the comprehensive unique historical records on Norwood held at the library are an invaluable resource to us and many others.
Local history has widespread interest, and around 50 people attend the monthly meetings we hold there. We are grateful for the willing help we regularly receive from the staff who do much to welcome all residents through the library’s doors.
We ask you to reconsider funding and remind you that as we prepare for an election the broken promises of 2014 will be in our minds.
- Alun and Barbara Thomas are local residents, as well as organisers for the Norwood Society’s successful meetings at the Upper Norwood Library
- Library Trust is shellshocked at Lambeth’s 60% funding cut
- MP Reed ‘guaranteed’ Library’s future for just nine months
- Library closure would be a ‘disaster’ warns Society chairman
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