Monday, 12 November 2012

Croydon and Wandsworth - The joint bid that wasn't! (or is it?)

An article recently published on the excellent website 'Inside Croydon' once again makes Croydon's Labour Party's position clear on library privatisation in the borough;

“Labour is committed to our library service not being run in the private sector. New, fully qualified librarians earn £23,500 a year. Making savings off the backs of cutting staff terms and conditions is not acceptable at this level,” Godfrey, a Selhurst ward councillor, said."
Croydon have apparently split from Wandsworth who recently chose Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) as the preferred bidder for their library service, both Councils have been involved in a long and costly procurement process and until last week many believed that it would be a joint bid. The fact that it appears that the process hasn't followed this path took myself and other campaigners by surprise but shouldn't have according to Diana Edmonds from GLL whom i spoke to at the Speak up for Libraries Conference on Saturday who seemed to suggest that this was always a realistic option even though the whole crux of the deal seemed to hinge on the economies of scale offered by the joint bid! (or didn't it?)

Croydon are expected to make an announcement after a council meeting on 21/11/12 and could still choose GLL? But with Croydon Labour threatening to pull the plug even if contracts are signed it looks as if it could be a costly and messy affair?
Woe betide the long suffering library users of Croydon and who knows what awaits their counterparts in Wandsworth?

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