Bromley council has been dealt a double blow to its plans to sell-off the borough’s treasured libraries.
Bexley council has informed Bromley council that it will no longer be looking to privatise its libraries in the joint tendering process with Bromley and will instead “take the library forward through continued in-house management.” Earlier this month Bromley Community Link the preferred bidder for the volunteer library contract decided to withdraw from the tender process.
The council intended to use volunteers instead of paid, professional staff for six community libraries and privatise the remaining ones in a joint tendering process with Bexley council.
Bromley’s plans to sell-off and fragment the borough’s libraries is now in tatters. Bexley has realised that the privatisation of its libraries are not the answer, now it’s time for Bromley to wake up and make a commitment to keep its libraries under public control and ownership.
The fight is on to keep Bromley’s libraries in public hands but library workers will be able to campaign as a single united force rather than a fragmented one. Unite will be holding a lobby on 12 October at the Executive meeting of the Council to keep the pressure on in the battle to save our libraries and defend jobs, pay and conditions.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This is another blow to Bromley council’s plans to sell-off the borough’s treasured libraries. Surely it’s time for the council to drop its misconceived privatisation. Let’s not forget that 80 per cent of the public who responded to the public consultation on the future of the libraries disagreed with the council’s plans.
“Workers have been fighting against the cuts and the privatisation since April last year and they will continue to fight the cuts. Many council workers have taken over 30 days of strike action in this long campaign. It’s a testament to their determination.
“The residents group called Backing Bromley is growing by the day. Thousands have joined up in order to make the Tory council answer for its many failings. The workforce, and the people of Bromley are not going to give up the fight to stop the cuts and privatisation.”
For further information please call Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.