The background to the row is over who sits on the Upper Norwood library joint committee. The agreement states that there should be four councillors from each council.
In February 2006 the library joint committee adopted a resolution that it should consist of at least two members from each side who represent the Upper Norwood area and at least one should have some executive responsibility for libraries.
The reports were would be presented to Croydon’s cabinet on March 13th 2006 and initially to Lambeth’s executive on February 13 2006 and then to Lambeth’s full council meeting of February 22 2006.
Lambeth agreed to the decision at the full council, Croydon agreed the decision under delegated powers. This is recorded in the joint committee minutes of the meeting held in March 2006.
As Mr Anderson’s letter states: “Both authorities subsequently demonstrated compliance with this agreed amendment to the agreement, Croydon having nominated two Conservative councillors from the Upper Norwood area.”
But when the Conservatives lost all their seats in the area in the 2010 elections they threw their toys out of the pram and decided to ‘install’ four cabinet members from the south of the borough onto the committee instead.
In his letter Mr Anderson says that “without providing any formal notification to Lambeth of its intentions, your authority unilaterally decided it no longer wished to comply with the agreed amendment and failed to nominate any representatives from the Upper Norwood area.”
That led to last year’s annual meeting of the library committee ending in complete chaos – and this year’s not even taking place after Lambeth’s four nominated councillors did not turn up.
The meeting was due to have been held in the library – where Croydon’s cabinet member for culture Cllr Sarah ‘Book Token’ Bashford told people attending the meeting they would wait for 10 minutes for the Lambeth councillors.
I understand that Lambeth had advised Croydon their four councillors would not be attending the meeting some time before the day of the meeting. If that is so it begs the question: Why, as cabinet member for culture, wasn’t Cllr Bashford told this by whoever it was Lambeth spoke to at Croydon?