Croydon Council has published a set of papers aimed at ripping apart our cultural offerings in Croydon. Every option is quite devastating for the cultural life of our Town.
Shutting the Clocktower down completely – this would include sacking all the staff that work in the museum, gallery, education and outreach work.
Closing the Local Studies Library
Ceasing the ‘Croydon Summer Festival’
It is understood that further proposals will come forward very shortly that will ‘rationalise’ the Library service, inevitably meaning that most libraries will go very part-time or be closed down.
The Council proposals were passed by Cabinet and are now out for ‘consultation’
Link to the specific Agenda item (Arts & Heritage Options) This is a PDF link
The campaigning Croydon Guardian has launched a full-blown campaign to save the Local Studies Library. This campaign by our local paper must be applauded.
The Croydon Advertiser carried the story on their front page, concentrating on the loss of the Summer Festival
Political dividing lines seem to be opening up, and this can only be good for the Arts in Croydon. The more pressure that can be brought the better. We particularly welcome the quote from Labour’s spokesperson on Culture who rounded on the proposals as follows:
However, Councillor Timothy Godfrey, Labour’s spokesman for culture and sports, said the cuts would drive businesses away from Croydon.
He said: “This will firebomb the town.
“Drastic cuts to arts services will have a direct impact on jobs and investment in Croydon.
“Nestle, the largest private sector employer in the borough, is already considering leaving the town because it doesn’t think it has anything to offer its staff.
“To lose the Clocktower, the Summer Festival, or our museum would turn Croydon into a ghost town.”
These are serious issues for our Town. Will Croydon go backwards to pre 1977 days and just have the Fairfield Halls to provide the cultural offering in our Town? Or will the Fairfield be next on the list of ‘necessary’ cuts.
Why 1977? this was the year that the Warehouse Theatre was founded by Sam Kelly, Richard Ireson, and Adrian Shergold. The Croydon Clocktower opened in 1994. The Summer festival followed soon after, emerging from the founding of the Asian Mela by adding a ‘World Music Party’, Green Fair and much more. The history of this festival needs a full article written!