By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter
Five of Croydon’s 13 libraries could soon close for good as the council faces a financial crisis.
Now Croydon residents have a chance to give their feedback on the plans.
The libraries affected are Bradmore Green, Shirley, Sanderstead, South Norwood and Broad Green.
Opposition council member for cultures, Councillor Scott Roche, said: “All of these communities are now at risk of losing their libraries and community hubs.
“They are all used by the vulnerable and elderly in our communities and it is vital that we help protect them. Labour has bankrupted our town after six years of financial mismanagement and as a result we are at risk of losing these libraries across the borough.”
The council states that the five libraries at risk have expensive maintenance costs and low visitor numbers. It says the only way they could remain open is if alternative plans were found which cost no public money.
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture and regeneration, said: “These proposals are about continuing as much as possible of our excellent and comprehensive libraries service while addressing the council’s significant financial challenges.
“We intend to keep open at least eight buildings and our wide-ranging digital access but we also face some tough decisions, so I urge anyone with an interest in our libraries to take part in this consultation and help shape the future service.”
The consultation runs online until March 7 and can be found here: getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk/project/678
Alternatively, email [email protected] or call 020 7884 5159 to request a paper version.
A final decision is expected to be made in the summer.
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