Upper Norwood Library's future resolved
4:30pm Tuesday 29th January 2013 in News
An agreement has been reached over the future of Upper Norwood Library which will eventually see a community group take it over.
Croydon Council and Lambeth Council have both committed to proposals which will eventually see the library run under a co-operative model.
The transfer of the library’s management will take place later this spring. Subject to formal consultation, the staff will be transferred to Lambeth’s payroll in April.
Croydon Council has confirmed it will hand over its share in the ownership of the building, although Croydon would be compensated if it is ever sold or redeveloped.
The council will also continue to make an annual contribution towards the running costs of the library.
This has been set at £75,000 per year for two years. Lambeth will contribute £170,000 as the major funder of the library.
The deal will pave the way for the transfer of the Upper Norwood Library’s management to a community led trust by 2014.
Councillor Tim Pollard, Croydon’s cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: "Running this library as a joint-venture between two boroughs worked for many years and Croydon was determined to keep it open.
"Our new proposal to Lambeth not only achieves that goal but also gives the community more direct control over how it’s managed in the future."
Councillor Sally Prentice, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure said: "This is fantastic news for local residents and guarantees the future of this library."
Robert Gibson, Chairman of Upper Norwood Library Campaign, said the group would look forward to working with Lambeth while the transition to a community run library takes place.
Mr Gibson added that they will scrutinise the details of the deal and continue to support the library’s staff over this process.
He said: "The Upper Norwood Library Campaign welcomes the progress made by both councils in ensuring a future for the Upper Norwood Joint Library.
"The independence of Upper Norwood Joint Library, public funding from both councils and a service provided by professional staff are lines in the sand for the local community of all five boroughs of Crystal Palace."