The five libraries that could be closed in Croydon to make up for budget gap have been announced

By Tara O’Connor

The names of the five libraries that could soon be cut have been announced.

In a bid to close a £67 million gap in the budget the council is set to make a series of cuts across the council.

There are 13 libraries in the borough, some of which did not reopen when they were allowed following the first lockdown.

Broad Green, Bradmore Green, Sanderstead, Shirley and South Norwood libraries could all be lost.

Cabinet member for culture councillor Oliver Lewis said that a public consultation on the future of the five libraries will be taking place.

At a meeting on Wednesday night (November 25) he said: “The following factors have been taken into account in our decision making. Things like footfall, book issues, PC sessions, geography, cost of repairs and maintenance.

“On that basis we will be going out on consultation on the closure or alternative cost neutral models of operation of five libraries.”

“Over the last few years we have invested in our libraries since we brought them back in house, notably at Selsdon and Norbury. We’ve seen technological improvements, increases in the book fund and partnerships with the libraries consortium.

“However, consolidation is necessary in relation to the council’s financial situation and we hope we will be able to build on what we have achieved going forward albeit at a reduced number of sites.”

Cuts in the culture department will also see the Croydon Museum in the clocktower remain closed to the public for the next two years.

Between 2021-2024 some archiving work and planning for Croydon to become London Borough of Culture in 2023 will continue.

The council received £1.35 million from the Mayor of London to deliver a year-long programme of events.

But cllr Scott Roche asked: “What message does it give to Croydon residents as a future borough of culture, when this administration has been forced to close or reduce cultural assets because of financial mismanagement?”

But cllr Lewis  said that the borough of culture is something that Croydon can look forward to.

He added: “We are going to work in a different way with the museum working in and with communities, there will be continued access to the archives and we will work with partner organisations to facilitate activity as and when we can.”

Pictured: South Norwood Library in Lawrence Road


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