What they said – but it ain’t necessarily so

From Press Release Number: PR2409, 24 May 2006, for Councillor Steve Hollands, Cabinet Member for Culture & Sports and Chairman Upper Norwood Library Joint Committee we read: “He will oversee bringing new leisure facilities to the borough and improve the library service and arts provision in Croydon . . . He also aims to improve the library service and ensure it provides many more new books . . . I want to ensure that Croydon benefits from the great opportunities they will bring not just in sport but in culture as well.”

From Councillor Luke Clancy’s letter to UNLC in 2002 we read: “If elected I would press for the joint library to be funded on a generous, stable and long-term basis so that it is able to meet the evolving needs of the community. In this way I believe the joint library may become a model for other borough libraries.”

From Councillor Steve Hollands, statement at Council meeting 22 January 2007: “Croydon has paid £30,000 a year in other services that we have provided to this library for some considerable time.” [Ed. That’s the £30,000 that has been assessed at £22,000, then shortly afterwards at £20,000]

From Councillor Mike Fisher in reply to Councillor Tony Newman, Croydon Advertiser 23 February 2007: “We have no intention of withholding funds from the library or running it down…we are maintaining the same level of grant that you gave for each of the last 10 years you were in control. In fact, by not increasing the grant, you actually presided over a reduction in grant.”

            From Pauline Scott-Garret to letter of public complaint February 2007: “Excluding costs for notional capital asset charges and central support charges, the actual Library Service expenditure for Croydon for 2006/7 is £4.83m (or approximately 10 times the 2006/7 budget for Upper Norwood Joint Library). With a population of 343,000 this gives an expenditure figure of £14.09 per head. The expected expenditure for UNJL in 2006/7 is £440,000 and the Chief Librarian for the library has stated that the catchment population for the library is 29,387. This would give expenditure per head of population of £14.97 for UNJL in the current year, 88 pence per head more than Croydon.”

From Steve Hollands quoted by Jerry Green in March edition of The Palace: “’The £156,000 which Croydon would pay in the new financial year starting April 1st was not a cut,’ he declared. ‘The reason the grant had remained static was a mistake by the previous administration,’ he added.”

From Cllr Steve Hollands, briefing note for the Norbury & Upper Norwood Neighbourhood Partnership meeting, 14 March 2007: “Lambeth increased its grant to the library in the early/mid 2000s, which now exceeds the amount Croydon gives. However, as per the joint agreement, this was not agreed with Croydon at the time.”

From Cllr John Whelan replying to Cllr Fitzpatrick on 8 January 2007: “…It is incorrect to say that Croydon has cut its funding – the current council is maintaining the funding level considered appropriate by the previous Labour administration in Croydon. Indeed the Upper Norwood Library budget at a total of £482,000 is considerably higher than a typical branch library in Croydon – Purley – at £300,000.”

From Cllr Robert Askey:  “Sadly there are people like yourself who are constantly suggesting that the library will close due to personal political ideology and I find this very sad that you will play for political gain at the expence [sic] of really supporting a well deserved cause.”

From Cllr Robert Askey: “The library is safe in Conservative hands.”