Crofton Park library campaign secures 4,600 supporters

The campaign to save Crofton Park Library from possible closure has secured 4,600 petition signatures, more than any of the other threatened libraries in Lewisham.

According to Alan Gibbons' blog, a total of 15,543 signatures of support were collected and presented to Lewisham Council on September 23rd, with the breakdown as follows:

Crofton Park 4600
Blackheath Village 4467
Sydenham 3700
New Cross 1700
Grove Park 1076

32 comments:

Nux said...

Good. I will be gutted if we lose the library. The consultation meeting was well attended too - do you think that any of it can make a difference?

fabhat said...

I really hope this will make a difference - crofton pk library is so well used - and a lovely building. However I was told by a ward councillor that all the libraries at risk are part time ones that need substantial building work - and that is part of the reason for closing them. She didn't sound hopeful about Crofton Pk at all...

Ed said...

I never use it and don't imagine that libraries any longer provide the level and breadth of service we assume they do or did. A new, affordable library model is required.

I am also willing to bet that many who signed the petiton did so as a matter of principle rather than in defence of a priority, value for money public service.

Nux said...

Well I signed because I use it and I want to keep it.

fabhat said...

Ed - I'm a regular user of the Crofton Park library - both for taking books out for me and my child, as well as using the "Baby Bounce" weekly session for under fives. Every time I go it is full of people - the computers are busy, schoolchildren are doing homework/course work, babies and parents packing out the children's library and older people getting books or reading newspapers etc...

All free services that can be accessed by all - whatever their financial status.

Sounds really narrow in bredth, empty and underused doesn't it?

Perhaps have a look, before you make sweeping assertions about what you "imagine" what libraries offer.

Ed said...

fabhat, your contentious and agressive tone, sarcasm and the content of your comment reveal an ignorance of the wider issue where the role and cost of libraries are under scrutiny nationwide.

In a recent BBC Radio 4 program several experts put forward a compeling arguement that, despite offering a wider range of services than ever, the existing library model is oudated and does not offer good value for money, suggesting other ways to provide these services more cheaply and effectively.

I pay as much as any of you for this library although I do not have any need to visit. I do not support closing all libraries.

It seems that you cannot understand that depsite being 'full' the library (like many around the country) may well not be providing value for money.

As a heavy user I expect you are getting great value for money so I can see your motives for resisting change towards a fairer and more cost effective system.

Anonymous said...

Wow Ed, what a diatribe. Perhaps you should read more books.

Anonymous said...

I'm not offended by the notion that some of my taxes pay for a service that others may use more than me. The last time I used a public library was when I was at school twenty odd years ago.

The well off contributing and helping the less well off, not leaving it to the vagaries of charity - call me a socialist!

max said...

Now, why did I think of this ?

Name said...

Well Ed, you've revealed the type of character you are. I had suspected your character from the time you agreed with that person who viewed Brockley as a "shit hole".

highhorse said...

Re: quote
"In a recent BBC Radio 4 program several experts put forward a compeling arguement that, despite offering a wider range of services than ever, the existing library model is oudated and does not offer good value for money, suggesting other ways to provide these services more cheaply and effectively."
What were these services, Ed? No doubt some money making scheme by Tory sympathisers?

The bigger picture said...

While I think it is very sad to see such a facility as Crofton Park Library under threat, I do have to stand back and think of the bigger picture. No matter how much it is liked, or how well it is used, at the end of the day if there isn't enough money to run it, then there isn't enough money to run it. And in the grand scheme of public sector spending there will be other priorities e.g. in health, education etc that will arguably have an equal, if not greater, claim to the public pot of money available. If there are better value for money options for running libraries then they should be looked at.

max said...

I'd much rather reduce the communication badget, the Young Mayor buget, the Local Assemblies budget etcetera than get rid of libraries, and of course they can host other services and initiatives under the same roof therefore cost less.

Oh, and although in the scheme of things it's a drop in the ocean we can always get rid of the indecent "Cabinet Member for Strategy and Communication", if Bullock wants to pay someone to make sure they look good in the pictures he can do it out of his own pocket!

Trixie said...

Max, what is it about the young mayor's budget that you have a problem with? I'm actually interested to know the answer as I've seen it mentioned a few times on here with no explanation about exactly why people think it's such a waste of money...

max said...

It's just that in the hierarchy of things to cut the Young Mayor comes just about before anything else, really, out of the top of my head I cannot think of anything that's less vital.

max said...

By the way, why a Young Mayor but not a Young Council?

Tamsin said...

I'm the one (one of the ones?) querying the value of the Young Mayor set up in a period of cut-backs. And I have also been engaged in the exchanges about the value for money of the Local Ward Assembly system in the present climate.

When times are good it would be great - and has been great - to have the introduction to politics and democracy that the annual Young Mayor hustings and elections provide, but at present I really do feel that the money would be better spent on, for example, Youth Workers. If the Council want to know what "Young People" think and want, the communication channels can be through the schools, area wardens, sports facilities and youth clubs.

Likewise, with no denigration to the council officers who work so hard to make them function, the Ward Assembly process is a very expensive way of distributing funds. (Didn't someone work out on another thread that it cost 75p for each pound of Locality Fund and Mayor's Fund spend in the Wards?) The Councillors have, or should have, the local contacts to active voluntary organisations in their wards, others who might be interested can be invited through the Councillor Surgery process, or in a pared down Lewisham Life to apply. Certainly, for Telegraph Hill, there seemed adequate consultation on spending this money in the two or three years before the Ward Assembly procedure kicked in. One could revert to that and save thousands.

I feel awful saying that because it is real people and real jobs, but libraries, adult social care and youth work surely have to be higher priorities.

lb said...

"Didn't someone work out on another thread that it cost 75p for each pound of Locality Fund and Mayor's Fund spend in the Wards?)"

Yes, I did and that's what it worked out as (roughly). Cut those and you could have any number of libraries, if they're that well used.

fabhat said...

Ed, I am quite aware of the need to make cuts and improve costs, and that libraries are ever more required to increase the scope of their offerings. But what you said was:

"I never use it and don't imagine that libraries any longer provide the level and breadth of service we assume they do or did."

This is what I was responding to - and yes your comment really annoyed me. If you never use the library - indeed never go into it - you are unlikely to be in the best position to talk about what services libraries offer - after all you are only "imagining" it.
I thought you might be interested to find out what some of the activities and services the library actually offer.
Libraries are vital for so many people - you are lucky that you have no need for shared facilities - but don't discount the need for them out of hand, just because it's not your priority...

Tamsin said...

I do despair of the Council at times. I have had an email past my desk at work on how they can make savings next year on Black History Month. They are at least calling a meeting to consult on it but, if I have read it right, the present proposals are to cut the small grants - the simple to administer little pots of £500 or so money that is just what you need for an event - hall and equipment hire etc. - but keep the brochure! This floods the borough in September - we get at least two posted (at additional expense) to our office - and I'm sure most of them end up almost immediately in re-cyc. There are far more cost effective ways to communicate information on events and if in the future much of the money goes on the brochure there will be hardly any events to list in it.

fabhat said...

There is a follow up meeting on the 19th of October where council official will follow up on proposals about the Crofton Park Library - 7pm at St Saviours Church, Brockley Rise.

Tressilliana said...

I agree, Tamsin. Where I work every single employee has internet access and an email account. Why my employer wastes money on expensive colour printing of the training brochure to be sent to each employee once a year is beyond me! If you want to book onto a course, you do it online - why not just assume that anyone interested will look for the course details online too?

Not quite the same for the council, I suppose, as not everyone has internet access yet. But that day is not far off, surely?

max said...

I'm a great believer in noticeboards, if there was a good network of attractive and well managed noticeboards quite a few organisations could save on brochures.

low rent said...

I notice that the bike cover at Broc station is being used as a noticeboard. The area's trees are also increasingly used, to pin ads for commercial offerings I make a point of not using services advertised in this way be yoga, piano lessons or comedy nights.

Brockley Nick said...

@Low rent - quite a few of the ones pinned to trees today were for a venue in Denmark Hill!

Monkeyboy said...

I wonder if that bloke got his bike back? Was offering a £1000 reward. I've seen posters as far apart as hilly fields and Deptford market...... Good luck pal!

Anonymous said...

It is a rather intersting aspect to Brockley,the many hand made notices stuck to trees.

Lost dogs and cats, sometimes warnings about car vandalism and muggings.

Stuff that people feel the rest of the community should know but are unlikely to be publicised in any other way.

RosieH said...

Save Crofton Park Library. Read-In at Crofton Park Library from 11.30am today.

Lou Baker said...

What fun.

A bunch of middle class folk lovers sitting down in their cardies and cords reading copies of books they already have at home.

Sorry I can't make it I am slitting my wrists with despair.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Poor unhappy Lou said...

Best get your copy in for OK! magazine. "Libraries are rubbish, says hardworking tax payer, fred" There's a Pulitzer out there for your damning but incisive social commentary.

DJ said...

Yes Lou - you said. Again and again. Please go and do your desperate attention-seeking somewhere else.
Or just get a life.

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