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Upper Norwood Library Campaign


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#1 UNIT

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 06:37 PM

Dear Vners and library users,

UNIT has been asked by the Upper Norwood Library campaign to forward the following message from Tim Coates, campaigner for books and libraries, to the wider community.

Please write urgently to your MP about the law that protects public libraries

I am sure that everyone reading this knows that in the UK there is a law which requires local councils to provide a comprehensive and efficient public library service for all people who wish to make use thereof. It is the upholding of that 1964 Libraries and Museums Act which is the basis of all the campaigns to save libraries.

Yesterday we discovered a secret move by state officials to remove the burden of the duty placed on councils by including the main requirements of the Act in a whole list of possible changes to local government requirements. Quite easily the whole legal foundation of the public library service could be removed without the public or parliament realising that the law had quietly and secretly been changed.

It is an appalling and underhand thing of those officials to attempt. It reveals the worst of the state of our democracy. And it is really happening, do not be surprised.

I urge everyone who reads this and everyone they know to write to their MP along the lines I have put below. You can find your MP on this site. You can email your MP by sending the email to him or her-- MP's have two styles of email address, so if you send an email to both, it should arrive and you should receive an acknowledgment

For example, if Robert Buckland were your MP you could send the email to both BucklandR@parliament.uk and Robert.Buckland.mp@parliament.uk. You can also send a letter to -for example- Robert Buckland MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.

Dear Mr ......... (MP)

Public Libraries Act 1964.

I am writing to you as my MP and as one of those thousands of people who have campaigned both locally and nationally to save public libraries in recent months. In our campaign we do not deny the need for budget reductions for council services, but we do argue that those reductions in expenditure be made proportionately in such a way that they reduce council structure and needless overhead and particularly that libraries should be improved and not closed.

At the heart of our argument has been a plea that the Libraries and Museums Act of 1964 should be upheld by those responsible both in councils and in Government. All parties have vehemently confirmed their support for this Act in government and opposition, within the past 12 months. Mostly our campaigns are directed at local councils, now we have a matter that needs to be drawn to the attention of Parliament.

Yesterday we discovered a behind-the-scenes consultation between civil servants and local government officials asking whether a whole series of statutory requirements were felt to be 'burdensome'. The list includes the main provisions of the 1964 Act in the midst of many other items.

By this route it is not hard to see that the central requirements for operating public libraries will be lost in law as part of a bundle of Government measures. Parliament will not have known that the matter was under discussion, and those who wish to use libraries will have, I am sorry to say it, been deceived.

One is dismayed to be alerted to this item on the Communities and Local Government website :
http://www.communiti...tatutoryduties/
wherein people are invited to comment on the statutory duties listed, in order "to challenge government on those which you feel are burdensome or no longer needed".

I am sure I do not have to make the observation that in life matters which are 'burdensome' are also often very important.

There are three specific references to Libraries, viz :-

DCMS_026: Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 Section 1(2): To provide information and facilities for the inspection of library premises, stocks, records, as the Secretary of State requires – Necessary for Secretary of State to fulfil To superintend library service (see s1 of PLAMA 1964).

DCMS_027: Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 Section 7: To provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. In fulfilling this duty, must have particular regard to the matters in s7(2) – Secure provision of local library services.

DCMS_028: Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 Section 11: Supplemental provisions as to transfers of officers, assets and liabilities – Provisions provide, for example, continuity of employment for transferring employees. This secures consistency across library transfers etc and in line with other local authority employment legislation.

Please will you bring this matter to the attention of the Secretary of State for Culture and join in our anxiety by saying that no change to the Act is needed, as has been said so often, and if any discussion were to be held, it be held in the full light of parliamentary debate, not in such a covert way as appears to be taking place.

I would be very grateful for your support, and would be happy to brief you more at any time

Yours sincerely.




Try and send an email today, and urge all those you know to do the same.

#2 RetiredMember1

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:34 AM

Email sent to Jim Dowd. Thank you for posting this, UNIT.

#3 chris_thomas

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:43 AM

If you're looking for a simple way to find and contact your MP online try this website:


www.writetothem.com
Chris Thomas
www.palacemag.co.uk

#4 belo

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:38 AM

Email sent to Tessa Jowell

#5 Sylvester

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:40 PM

And to Malcolm Wicks, MP for North Croydon.
aka Pie

#6 UNIT

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 12:59 PM

Dear VNers,

UNIT would like to extend big thanks to all who have taken time to respond to the Upper Norwood Library Campaign’s request to write to their MPs. There is still time for others to do the same to protect this vital frontline service and we would urge you to follow suit.

King regards

Amanda Sciberras
Vice Chair UNIT

#7 Norwood lad

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 03:43 PM

http://www.crystalpa...library-meeting

IMPORTANT PUBLIC LIBRARY MEETING THIS THURSDAY 15th



IMPORTANT DECISIONS WILL BE MADE AT THIS MEETING ABOUT THE FUTURE OF YOUR LIBRARY
The next meeting of the Upper Norwood Joint Library Committee takes place on Thursday 15th September at 6.30pm at the library. Please make the effort to attend if you can as this is an important time for our Library's future. It affects all that use it.
Members of the public are very welcome to attend. Upper Norwood Joint Library Group.

#8 Norwood lad

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 02:23 PM

Although I can see the point of view of Lambeth and the library campaigners for doing what they did in boycotting the meeting its very disingenuous to all the people who actually turned up and knew nothing of the political skulduggery going on behind the scenes which resulted in only half a meeting. <_<


http://www.crystalpa...library-meeting
LIBRARY MEETING ENDS IN CHAOS - AGAIN


Jerry Green
THE ANNUAL meeting of Upper Norwood library joint committee ended in chaos AGAIN last night (Thursday) - after Lambeth councillors boycotted it.
Croydon's four Conservative Cabinet nominees had all turned up for the meeting in the library on Westow Hill.
But when Croydon's culture chairman Cllr Sarah Bashford told more than 60 people who had turned up they would wait ten minutes for the four Lambeth councillors, Crystal Palace Comunity Association chairman John Payne told her he had received an e-mail that afternoon saying they (Lambeth) would not be attending.

Edited by Norwood lad, 20 September 2011 - 02:24 PM.


#9 RetiredMember2

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 03:40 PM

The Croydon team knew the Lambeth Cllrs were not attending the AGM as Lambeth Cabinet Member, Cllr Florence Nosegbe, had telephoned Cllr Bashford earlier that day to advise her of the reasons why- a direct consequence of Croydon’s continued refusal to appoint two local Croydon councillors to the Committee, as required by the 2006 amendment to the Joint Library agreement, (agreed by both parties).

There are concerns at the prospect of a Joint Library Committee dominated by Croydon Cabinet Members – who chair the Joint Library Committee. The Committee chair holds a casting vote in the event of any deadlock or failure to agree on future Joint Library policy, possible cuts, or even closure of the service.

The Croydon Cllrs are from Selsdon and Ballards Ward, Fairfield Ward and Croham Ward. Now why would Croydon select Cllrs from non-local Wards to sit on the UNJL committee as opposed to local Ward Cllrs, who actually represent many people in the surrounding area that use and value the UNJL?

What was disingenuous was that the Croydon Cllrs then carried out a strange charade for those who had turned up for the AGM, pretending to wait for the Lambeth Cllrs in case they were "stuck in traffic" when they knew all along that the Lambeth Cllrs would not be attending the AGM as they do not recognise the current set-up as lawful.

This is all about cuts, cuts and more cuts.

The current UNJL Croydon members do not represent residents (read voters) who use or have even heard of UNJL. When push comes to shove it would be politically prudent to save services within their own Wards not Upper Norwood. I think the Lambeth Cllrs did the right thing by refusing to vailidate the current committee status when it is unconstitutional and unrepresentative of Upper Norwood. By doing so they have put the spotlight firmly on Croydon to do the right thing and replace the distant Ward Cllrs with those from the Upper Norwood Ward.

Thankfully Lambeth have not replaced the Gipsy Hill Ward Cllrs with Oval and Clapham Town representatives.

#10 kibitzer

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:50 PM

Kafka lives! looking at the make up of the committee I believe it doesnt adhere to the committee proportionality rules either, on the Croydon side. At the end of the day Croydon will begrudgingly fund their side of the agreement after this grandstanding and the whole debacle will start again next year with another carry on. Why dont they admit that the Upper Norwood Joint Library is good value for money and the residents want it and use it, payup and accept their side of the agreement and stop trying to welch on it and try using backdoor legislation which serves no democratic purpose other than to show the Croydon Council administration as a body that cannot be trusted. Hardly a vote winner.

#11 RetiredMember2

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 12:22 PM

Roll over Kafka, Machiavelli's in town!

Croydon council has announced that it's terminated its joint library agreement with Lambeth council in respect of the Upper Norwood Library.

Croydon have given Lambeth just seven days to respond to their decision - even though the agreement supposedly says each council must give at least a year's notice of their decison to terminate the agreement.

Mike Fisher, Leader of Croydon council, in a staggering bit of political gamesmanship has written to Steve Reed, leader of Lambeth council, saying this decision is due to "Lambeth’s fundamental breach of the terms of the agreement".

No mention of Croydon's fundamental breach of the the 2006 amendment to the UN Joint Library agreement by refusing to appoint local Cllrs to the executive committee.

Looks like Croydon council is intent on cutting funds from this front-line public service. :(

Edited by citizen M, 22 October 2011 - 12:22 PM.


#12 guineagirl

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:11 PM

Have seen talk on Twitter about a protest being organised in support of the Upper Norwood library, as part of the wider 'save libraries' initiative. Anyone else know much about this yet?

I live in Lambeth and UN will be my nearest library while West Norwood remains closed, and I'm having a baby next year so I have a feeling I will be an even greater user of libraries than before....I'd hate to see a major shopping/recreational centre like Crystal Palace lose its library.

As a Lambeth resident, who should I be complaining to - my lot, or Croydon?

#13 RetiredMember2

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:47 PM

I would raise concerns with both authorities GG. The Gipsy Hill Cllrs will be fighting for the UNJL, as they have done for, what seems like, ever. Although the problem, as I understand, is that Croydon has been looking for an exit strategy, the introduction of non-local Cllrs was to make it easy to vote through locally damaging cuts.

#14 guineagirl

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 10:38 AM

Thanks Citizen M - I will contact my local councillors (Knight's Hill) and ask them to confirm they are backing their Gipsy Hill colleagues, but who in Croydon should I be directing my comments at?

#15 RetiredMember2

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 11:13 AM

That's great GG!

I would reccomend go direct to top, Mike Fisher mike.fisher@croydon.co.uk and copy in Cllr Bashford, who led the Croydon charade at last month's farcical AGM, sara.bashford@croydon.gov.uk.

I would also copy in our local Croydon Cllrs, pat.ryan@croydon.gov.uk and john.wentworth@croydon.gov.uk. who have been fighting for the UNJL for many years and would very much like to have been on the UNJL committee as opposed to Cllr Bashford and her chums from the depths of the Conservative led council.

Seems a shame that party politics are being engaged at this level and the implications are very serious and worrying. We could loose our library. The press release from Croydon is farcical, it's all:

*cue hand wringing and earnest expressions*

we have done our best for UNJL, you can't blame us, we have always played by the rules, it would have been against the law to put local Cllrs on committee, honest it would, no the baddies here are that nasty Labour run Lambeth who have refused to cooperate so we have no choice but to withdraw....

(btw that's my summary not a quote)

Edited by citizen M, 25 October 2011 - 11:15 AM.