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Unite step up campaign against ‘privatisation’ of Bromley’s libraries with through-the-door booklet

PUBLISHED: 10:40 19 June 2017

Bromley Central library

Bromley Central library

Archant

The council state contractors will run the 14 libraries on their behalf - they will not be privatised

Bromley households will recieve a booklet explaining reasons why the borough’s libraries should remain ‘council-controlled’ as union Unite continue to campaign against proposals for contractors to run them.

Unite will be delivering the leaflets to homes as the council considers comments between now and July made on the consultation over the proposal to award the contract for running the 14 libraries to Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).

Regional officer for Unite, Onay Kasab, said: “The Tories in Bromley seem hell-bent on privatisation of Bromley’s libraries to a firm with a deeply tarnished reputatio, despite strong public opposition and the fact that the council has more than £300 million in reserves.

“We will start distributing the booklets - which contains the response we have already submitted to the council - to the streets in the wards of key Tory councillors next week.

“The consultation ended this week and councillors will be considering the comments, so this is a good time for people to read the booklet and then put pressure on their elected representatives.

“It is time for Bromley residents to make their voice heard so that libraries can be kept within the public domain for the benefit of all.”

Peter Morgan, Bromley executive councillor for renewal and recreation, said: “This proposal will generate a saving and preserve our much valued library service. The Council is yet to make a final decision about this but I cannot emphasise enough that the proposal is that any appointed contractor would provide the existing library service in all 14 libraries, with no library closures, which has not been the case in other boroughs.

“This whole exercise is ironically about protecting the library service set against the very difficult financial environment that all councils are having to operate in. The savings which GLL will make are essentially to do with economies of scale, arising from the fact that GLL will be running many more libraries than Bromley alone.

“If this proposal is accepted, the council would remain in control of the library service and the service provider would follow the specifications that have been outlined by the council.”

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