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Upper Norwood Library Campaign


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#31 whydelilah

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 01:32 PM

I don't have the heart to email her any more if she and her colleagues have already made up their mind they want the library turned into luxury flats....it's just so depressing.


I couldn't agree more. Politicians complain about voter apathy but it's more often than not the constant dismissal or ignoring of opinions and complaints that lead to people believing there is no point in trying to engage in a system that doesn't listen anyway. And as has been posted several times, the people that seem to be making the decisions related to our patch are not actually councillors related to this ward, so they have no political motivation to listen to us. And unless I've misread the details of the next local elections, Croydon isn't part of the May 2012 cohort so it's not like they have anything to fear from the voters for the next few years anyway.

I have emailed the Lambeth guy to say thanks for his and his council's support. I think it's important he knows that Croydon residents appreciate what he's doing!

#32 kibitzer

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:47 AM

When do you think the public meeting will be held? and where?

#33 RetiredMember2

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 12:08 PM

The comments book is open and can be found on the main desk. All contributions welcome and appreciated :)

Details of the public meeting will be posted here and around the Triangle once the booking is confirmed. Thanks for your patience :)

And don't forget, your library needs you.

Posted Image


Edited by Summit Lover, 17 November 2011 - 12:29 PM.


#34 RetiredMember2

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 04:41 PM

First of all big thanks to UNIT for starting this thread back in March.



STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS!

Public meeting


Upper Norwood Library faces closure and sale after Croydon withdraw funding.




Croydon have served Lambeth with an ultimatum - to buy Croydon’s share of the Library and meet all running costs, or sell up.

This popular and versatile, ‘independent’ library has served our community for 111-years and must not be sold.

A new independent library committee needs to be formed to explore how to secure the library’s future.

If you would like to share your views and find out how you can help then come to the public meeting on:


Wednesday 30th November at the Salvation Army Hall, Westow Street, SE19


if you care - please Be there


Crystal Palace Community Association
c/o 10 Jasper Road, London SE19 1SJ
tel/fax: 020 8670 4395
email: cpca@onetel.com
www.cpca.org.uk

STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS!


k

#35 RetiredMember2

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 04:58 PM

Grrrr, this darn edit function....

Here we go again this time with the time!!

STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS!
Public meeting

Upper Norwood Library faces closure and sale after Croydon withdraw funding.



Croydon have served Lambeth with an ultimatum - to buy Croydon’s share of the Library and meet all running costs, or sell up.
This popular and versatile, ‘independent’ library has served our community for 111-years and must not be sold.
A new independent library committee needs to be formed to explore how to secure the library’s future.
If you would like to share your views and find out how you can help then come to the public meeting on:

Wednesday 30th November, 7.30pm, at the Salvation Army Hall, Westow Street, SE19

if you care - please Be there
Crystal Palace Community Association
c/o 10 Jasper Road, London SE19 1SJ
tel/fax: 020 8670 4395
email: cpca@onetel.com
www.cpca.org.uk
STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS!

#36 Ziwa

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:03 PM

Outrageous news!

Unfortunately I've got an obligation that night, so do tell us what else we can do to help.

#37 charlie

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:16 PM

Agreed this was Cllr Bashford's FINAL reply to a string of correspondence I have had as a Croydon resident over the past few weeks and a request for Croydon to be represented at the Upper Norwood Imporvement Team meeting tonight. Bloody outrageous! All hands to the pump!

Until Lambeth have come forward with their reply to the options Croydon has given them, we cannot usefully contribute to any public discussions. We have no desire to raise anyone’s expectations, only to find later that those expectations will not be fulfilled.

In the mean time, Croydon’s position may be summarised as follows:

The reason Croydon gave for terminating the agreement is the true reason. Lambeth is apparently accusing Croydon of telling falsehoods, according to press reports, and of not declaring the real reasons for terminating the Agreement. However, Croydon has made it plain that the lack of accountability and management of the library, brought about by Lambeth’s non-engagement, could not be allowed to continue. The expenditure of public funds must be accounted for and properly managed, and the only way Croydon could ensure that this happened was to terminate the 1994 Agreement. The termination had the effect of dissolving the joint committee, and the responsibility for management of the library reverted to the two boroughs.

Given the reason for the termination, Croydon’s executive is not prepared to enter into another joint arrangement, since there is no certainty that Lambeth would not repeat their previous behaviour. Instead, Croydon’s leadership have resolved to settle the position of the UNJL once and for all by giving Lambeth the option of purchasing or leasing Croydon’s share of the Library assets and having the staff transfer to Lambeth’s employ. The Library is situated within Lambeth’s borders, so a transfer of ownership to Lambeth would be a logical outcome.

Regards
Sara Bashford

#38 deirdremahon

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 12:14 PM

The Campaign has a Facebook page - please LIKE this and forward on to anyone you know in the area. The Facebook Wall is the Online Comments Book...

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=308502485828780&pending&context=create#!/groups/269577509754920/

Will also set up a Twitter account so we can seek to gain wider (non-local) support and maybe some high profile endorsement - there are plenty of profile figures who have expressed their disgust about library closures.

#39 RetiredMember1

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 12:21 PM

Joined.

#40 RetiredMember2

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 04:24 PM

Joined.

:) Like :)

A little ray of sunshine on the library front:

"Campaigners attempting to stop the closure of their local libraries won a surprise victory in the high court on Wednesday when a judge ruled that the decision to axe services in Gloucestershire and Somerset was unlawful and should be quashed. In his judgment on a judicial review brought by campaigners in the two counties, Judge Martin McKenna found that local authorities had failed to comply with their public sector equality duties when pushing through the closures." more on http://www.guardian....ibrary-closures

And I love Philip Pullman's summing up of Brent council's endeavours to improve the libary service:

"Philip Pullman has lambasted Brent council for its comment that closing half of its libraries would help it fulfil "exciting plans to improve libraries", describing the statement as a "masterpiece" which "ought to be quoted in every anthology of political bullshit from here to eternity". more on http://www.guardian....ibrary-closures

#41 jamesl

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 02:28 PM

I am aiming to get to the meeting but in advance can anyone answer these questions or can they be explained at the meeting:

1. Is there a link or information source to the 1994 UNJL agreement itself and the 2006 amendments. Appreciate that Croydon and Lambeth have differing views about rights and obligations but it is difficult to consider these without seeing the actual agreement

2. Will any local council reps be there ?

I only ask because I am unclear who is really responsible for this fiasco. As I understand it thi (labour/tory politics and the cuts agenda apart) the situation arises because:

(a ) Lambeth believes that Croydon's appointment on non local ward councillors to the management committee was in breach of the UNJL agreement. Specifically Lambeth contend that Croydon’s nominees conflict with the 2006 amendment that “The Joint Committee shall consist of eight members, four from each party, drawn from elected members of each party (borough) who shall be appointed in accordance with Sections 15 and 16 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Furthermore at least two Members from each partyshould represent the Upper Norwood area and at least one should have some executive responsibility for libraries.”

(b )This issue led to the June 2010 AGM being aborted and then the Lambeth representatives did not turn up to the last UNJL AGM in September 2011 on the basis that their presence could be seen as legitimising Croydon’s decision not to nominate two local councillors to the Committee.

© Croydon say that local government governance regulations require that the representatives must be Croydon cabinet members, not local councillors.

(d ) Croydon believes that the failure of Lambeth to turn up amounts to a repudiatory breach of contract and have now terminated the agreement, subject to 7 days notice to Lambeth to explains their position (why can’t they remedy it?)

So my questions are

1. What happened between the June 2010 AGM and September 2011 AGM to resolve the disagreement about who could and could not sit on the management committee ?

2. Was legal advice taken by Lambeth and what discussion took place between Lambeth and Croydon over the last 18 months to resolve the impasse ?


3. Not turning up seems to be an extraordinarily confrontational and speculative move by Lambeth given that Croydon’s position was that appointing cabinet members was legally required under national legislation. Croydon were clearly geared up to fight their corner by having their legal services rep at the meeting. Who advised Lambeth not to turn up ? Was legal advice taken by Lambeth’s representatives from Lambeth councils legal officers over the suggestion that by turning up they would be ratifying a breach of contract ?


As a Lambeth resident I want to know whether or not our local councillors have taken a gamble which, on the face of it, appears to be a spectacular own goal by arming Croydon with grounds to claim immediate, repudiatory breach of contract

Regardless of Croydon’s behaviour , as a Lambeth resident I want a full explanation from my Council so they can be held to account for their actions and decisions. If it turns out that the councillors acted without legal advice from Lambeth, then as far as I am concerned Lambeth owe both a moral, and probably a legal, duty to put things right, either by taking croydoin to court or, if Croydon are right, by Lambeth taking on the library and rectifying the mess they may (I say may) have very well contributed to.


3 Who owns the buildings ?

Online Land registry records are not available – but who one the freehold ? and is there an underlying lease ? On what basis can Croydon terminate any lease or force a sale ?

As I understand the , now terminated, UNJL agreement , it related to management of the library, staff and equipment and governed financial contributions.

What does it say about sale of the building in the event of the agreement being terminated ? If the agreement is silent then presumably Lambeth , as co-owner of the building , can block any proposed sale of a publicly owned building ?

4. How much does it cost to run the library ?

5. Assuming that Croydon will not be persuaded to enter into another agreement and provide funding couldn’t Lambeth look for external financial assistance like a commercial sponsor or money from the outer London Fund ?



#42 charlie

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:25 PM

All questions that needs answers to. Hopefully we'll get them at the meeting if not before. I'm waiting for further answers from the Croydon Executive member.

Seems a very high risk strategy on Lambeth's part or perhaps they have achieved the outcome they were looking for? Who knows.

Can anyone set out what Lambeth's position is on Library provision in its borough please without me having to spend time researching.

As a Croydon resident of Upper Norwood I would like to see Croydon continue to fund a library service for its residents who use CP as their district centre. Croydon consulted on all its other libraries except UNJL which is independent. The outcome was a decision to keep them open as a result of the responses it received but I believe the service will be outsourced to a private company in the name of efficiency, value for money etc? Not something I necessarily favour.

I would like a similar consultation on Croydon's provision via the UNJL before any consideration of making Localism a reality by either running the library with volunteer residents, sponsorship by private companies etc. etc. . This is afterall what we pay our council tax for amongst other things. I would also like to see the full compliment of paid staff retained. UNJL is given as an example of the model of efficiency. Surely, its continued funding by our local authorities is worth fighting for before looking at any Plan Bs. Whatever is proposed needs a full community consultation for residents of both boroughs.



Have

#43 charlie

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:54 PM

I would suggest jamesl that you address all those questions directly to your Lambeth ward councillors:

Cllr. Matthew Bennett Gipsy Hill Ward mpbennett@lambeth.gov.uk; Cllr. Jennifer Brathwaite Gipsy Hill Ward jbrathwaite@lambeth.gov.uk; Cllr.Niranjan Francis Gipsy Hill Ward NRFrancis@lambeth.gov.uk;

And the Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and the 2012 Games - Councillor Florence Nosegbe
She can be contacted on:
07985 735 474
fnosegbe@lambeth.gov.uk

Plus the Chief Executive Derrick Anderson and the council's legal team.

Agreed this was Cllr Bashford's FINAL reply to a string of correspondence I have had as a Croydon resident over the past few weeks and a request for Croydon to be represented at the Upper Norwood Imporvement Team meeting tonight. Bloody outrageous! All hands to the pump!

Until Lambeth have come forward with their reply to the options Croydon has given them, we cannot usefully contribute to any public discussions. We have no desire to raise anyone’s expectations, only to find later that those expectations will not be fulfilled.

In the mean time, Croydon’s position may be summarised as follows:

The reason Croydon gave for terminating the agreement is the true reason. Lambeth is apparently accusing Croydon of telling falsehoods, according to press reports, and of not declaring the real reasons for terminating the Agreement. However, Croydon has made it plain that the lack of accountability and management of the library, brought about by Lambeth’s non-engagement, could not be allowed to continue. The expenditure of public funds must be accounted for and properly managed, and the only way Croydon could ensure that this happened was to terminate the 1994 Agreement. The termination had the effect of dissolving the joint committee, and the responsibility for management of the library reverted to the two boroughs.

Given the reason for the termination, Croydon’s executive is not prepared to enter into another joint arrangement, since there is no certainty that Lambeth would not repeat their previous behaviour. Instead, Croydon’s leadership have resolved to settle the position of the UNJL once and for all by giving Lambeth the option of purchasing or leasing Croydon’s share of the Library assets and having the staff transfer to Lambeth’s employ. The Library is situated within Lambeth’s borders, so a transfer of ownership to Lambeth would be a logical outcome.

Regards
Sara Bashford


As you might have gathered I am incensed that not once in this response did Councillor Bashford mention anything about the implied duty to provide the Croydon residents of Upper Norwood with a library service which is much much more than just the borrowing of books. The UNJL provides a community hub for all sorts of activities and services. I wonder what Croydon's Plan B is if Lambeth do not play ball.

#44 charlie

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 06:29 PM

Worth reading this for those that want some context:

Upper Norwood Library Campaign Newsletter 2010

Plus a link to the Upper Norwood Library Campaign website for more information

#45 RetiredMember2

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 07:14 PM

Jamesl I have PM'd you but yes follow charlie's advice!

Thanks for posting the various contact details charlie. They were posted ealrier on in this thread but good to have them fresh again.

The public meeting is not about forming a committee of residents to run the libray and to date it is unclear whether Croydon's dissolution of the exisitng UNJL committee is in fact lawful. The public meeting is to form a cross border committee made up of elected representatives from all adjoining Wards to reflect the catchment of the UNL, that extends way beyond the boundaries of Lambeth and Croydon. The purpose of the non partisan committee would be to support the UNL Campaign secure the future of this much valued frontline service.

It is vital that Lambeth and Croydon move beyond the current impasse and forge a way forward in the interests of the community, not just the Croydon part of it. However it is worth pointing out that Croydon are in process of privatising the entire library service. From http://www.wandswort...ging_libraries/
"Councillor Sara Bashford, cabinet member for customer services, culture and sport said: "Throughout this process, we have always prioritised listening to residents wishes. When people said they didn't want to see libraries close, we listened and opted to see who else could help run the service."

From http://www.croydongu...y_service_plan/
"Town hall bosses have been warned not to let a plan to outsource library services "erode" the service.
Wandsworth Council, in partnership with Croydon Council has embarked on a plan to hand the running of the borough's libraries to an outside body. Last week, the Tory-led council in Croydon voted in favour of the scheme, which drew criticism from Labour councillors.
"

One of the companies of choice is a US company called LSSI and I can see why Cllr Bashofrd is liking these guys. They sure do a good line in "we will improve your service, just need to make a few reductions in funding to achieve this" To quote Philip Pullman " masterpiece which "ought to be quoted in every anthology of political bullshit from here to eternity"

Here's link to one of LSSI's takeover bids http://www.libraryjo...ing_in.html.csp .

"LSSI pledges to operate the libraries at a significant cost savings of one-third on the system's $9.1 million budget if current hours are maintained, or with nearly 50 percent more hours and a $1.87 million savings..." "I've looked at the details of the proposal, and I'm scratching my head as to how LSSI is going to pull this off," Colleen Foster, former director of the SSJCPL, commented to LJ. "The company claims that service will improve, and yet it also plans to reduce salaries and benefits and eliminate two professionally certified librarians," she said. "It's like LSSI doesn't understand that good librarians are the heart of a successful library system."

It will be interesting to see how much LSSI, or which ever company wins the tender, will be proposing to charge tax payers to reduce library services.

Here's a reminder of contacts. It is vital that Bromley and Southwark residents also raise concerns with their Cllrs about the future of their local library:

UNJLC http://www.unlc.org....jl-independent/
CPCA http://cpca.org.uk/
Facebook https://www.facebook...69577509754920/

UN Cllrs Pat Ryan http://www.croydon.g...lcouncillors/61 John Wentworth http://www.croydon.g...lcouncillors/60
GH Cllrs Matthew Bennett http://gipsyhilllabo...atthew-bennett/ Jennifer Brathwaite http://gipsyhilllabo...nny-brathwaite/
SN Cllrs Kathy Bee http://www.croydon.g...lcouncillors/54 Jane Avis http://www.croydon.g...lcouncillors/53
CP Cllrs John Canvin http://cds.bromley.g...fo.aspx?UID=147 Tom Papworth http://cds.bromley.g...fo.aspx?UID=190
College Cllrs Lewis Robinson http://moderngov.sou...fo.aspx?UID=177 Helen Hayes http://moderngov.sou...fo.aspx?UID=906