Upper Norwood Library to stay independent?
New Charter demonstrates a positive way forward for the Upper Norwood Joint Library.
After years of political wrangling and uncertainty as to its future, the Upper Norwood Joint Library could be celebrating its 110th anniversary year in a new spirit of harmony and cooperation.
At last week’s well attended meeting (Wednesday 27 January 2010) of the Joint Library Committee, Lambeth Chair Councillor David Malone launched the new Charter, which “serves primarily as a re-affirmation of the principles and traditions that have guided and sustained the Upper Norwood Joint Library Authority (UNJLA) since its inception in 1898.”
The document includes a number of principles that recommend a continuation of the popular and unique independent status of the Crystal Palace based service, whilst calling on all members of the Joint Library Committee to recognise “their inherent obligation to promote, support and advocate the UNJLA, both within their respective Councils and throughout the wider community.” It also reminds both of the ‘parent boroughs’ (Lambeth and Croydon) that, “considerable kudos accrues to the two parent boroughs for initiating and maintaining this unique arrangement.” The Joint Library provides a ‘stand-alone’ and self-sufficient library service that is specifically aimed at the Crystal Palace community.
London’s most cost-effective library
The Charter was launched on the same night that it was revealed that the Upper Norwood Joint Library is the most efficient library service in London!
At the 27th of January meeting, the Chief Librarian’s report revealed that the Joint Library is 50% cheaper per capita, than the average cost of library services in Greater London and 56% cheaper than those of Inner London. The analysis was based on the latest official CIPFA expenditure statistics and the audited accounts of the Joint Library.
This contradicts a number of Croydon Council press releases and statements over the past three years, which have persistently and mistakenly alleged that the Joint Library needed to show greater efficiency and that it should have its popular services ‘amended’ to become ‘more cost-effective’.
John Payne, Chair of the CPCA said, “We welcome the initiative of a Charter but are fed up with the politically motivated efforts of certain councillors who continue to denigrate the amazing service that our library offers. Imagine how much more it could offer if was properly funded and the ‘rules’ of Croydon & Lambeth’s Joint Agreement adhered to.”
Pam Gray, Secretary of the Library Campaign, said after the meeting, “Their allegations of ‘inefficiency’ have been shown to be totally groundless. On the contrary, the Upper Norwood Joint Library is much more efficient than the established library services, for instance Croydon’s Central Library has increased in cost by 200% since 1992/3, whilst their financial contribution to the Joint Library has only gone up by 19% - as of this year - compared to 18 years ago.
Crystal Palace residents pay the same Council Tax for their library services as those in other parts of Lambeth and Croydon, but only see about 65% of it invested in their own local Joint Library service. The rest presumably goes to subsidise libraries in other parts of the local boroughs.”
CPCA legal challenge over Park housing Posted - February 2012
The Crystal Palace Community Association is challenging the decision of the Secretary of State to approve sale of protected public parkland for construction of luxury apartments, under London Development Agency Masterplan proposal for Crystal Palace Park.>> Full story here
CPCA responds to Bromley's 'Core Strategy' consultation Posted - December 2011
The London Borough of Bromley has begun the process of producing their 'Core Strategy' document for the Borough. This document will help determine the long-term planning strategy for the Borough and its conclusions will be incorporated into their Local Development Framework (LDF) - a replacement for the current Unitary Development Plan (UDP).>> Full story here
Upper Norwood Library faces closure and sale after Croydon withdraw funding Posted - November 2011
The unilateral decision by Croydon Council to 'terminate' the Upper Norwood Library Joint Agreement was, according to Croydon, the direct consequence of '...fundamental breach of the agreement by Lambeth Council'. Such breach, according to Croydon, was the refusal by Lambeth Council 'to attend the last Annual General Meeting and failing to co-operate at the 2010 meeting.'>> Full story here
Re-run AGM farce as Croydon refuses to honour Joint Library Agreement Posted - September 2011
Croydon Council's continuing failure to meet the terms of their partnership agreement with Lambeth Council, caused yet another meeting of The Upper Norwood Joint Library Committee to be abandoned last Thursday, the 15 September, when more than seventy people attended the Library Annual General Meeting, where the future of the 111-year old Library was to be considered.>> Full story here
CPCA to challenge Secretary of State's approval for 180 luxury flats in Crystal Palace Park Posted - January 2011
Following the Secretary of State's Formal Decision to grant planning permission to the LDA Masterplan application for Crystal Palace Park, the CPCA have been advised that there are powerful legal grounds to challenge this in the High Court. It is currently preparing evidence and other material to tight deadlines and urgently considering the matter of costs.>> Full story here
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CPCA Chair John Payne has undergone successful corrective chest surgery. John is at home recovering well and I am sure we would all like to wish him a speedy recovery.
- Audrey Hammond, President
- Events CPTT Fairtrade Fortnight
- Events ‘Hot Flashes and Mood Swings: The Ups and Downs of Menopause’
- Events Comedy nights
- News CPCA legal challenge over Park housing
- News CPCA responds to Bromley's 'Core Strategy' consultation
- News Upper Norwood Library Faces Closure and Sale
- News Re-run AGM farce as Croydon refuses to honour Joint Library Agreement
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Upper Norwood Joint Library
The only independent, jointly funded library in the UK
Upper Norwood Library Campaign (UNLC)
Working to protect our unique library
Our CP based web design and eMarketing specialists
Rotary Club of Crystal Palace and Norwood
Founded in 1924
A weekly FREE 5km timed event in Crystal Palace Park
The Bigger Picture
Local CP artists transforming vacant shops to display art
The Goodliffe Hall
Supporting church and community life in Gipsy Hill
The Crystal Palace Community Development Trust
A CP community-based enterprise since 2004
The Crystal Palace Foundation
Dedicated to preserving the history of the Crystal Palace
Picture Palace Campaign
Campaigning to support a cinema in Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace Park
The LDA's website dedicated to Crystal Palace Park
Offers unwanted items for free to keep them out of landfill sites
Crystal Palace Band
Good guys and great concerts
West Beckenham Residents' Association
Founded in 1945 and still going strong
Warehouse Theatre Croydon
New writing, comedy and entertainment
The South London Theatre
Non-professional theatre based in West Norwood
Stop private housing on Crystal Palace Park
Sign this online petition to oppose private development
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