Campaigners for the Upper Norwood Library have labelled new Croydon Council funding “shabby” and claim it shows the authority is “giving up” on the service.

The council this week announced £85,000 annual funding for the next two years for the Upper Norwood Library Trust to create a “community learning hub” including parenting classes, homework clubs and reading programs.

But Robert Gibson, head of the Upper Norwood Library campaign, said the money – which is separate from funding for the library itself - did not make up for previous cuts and would “inevitably lead to a reduction in services”.

In April last year Croydon and Lambeth councils, which jointly fund the library, announced plans to cut its yearly budget from £245,000 to £100,000 from April this year.

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Just five months earlier Croydon Council announced an additional £47,500 funding for the library to reverse part of a £114,000 cut imposed by the former Conservative administration in 2013.

Five of the library's 17 staff took redundancy following the cuts, which also reduced its opening days from five to three.

Mr Gibson, a former co-chair of the trust, said: “As a community we mourn that it represents a reduction in service, staffing and funding and an admission from Croydon that it is moving away from statutory provision of library services for Upper Norwood and across its borough.

“The obligation to support the library is a lot greater than £85,000.

“The current staff are struggling at the moment with the funding they have got and then to reduce that funding even further makes it very difficult.

“I personally feel let down by council spin that doesn't mention staff redundancies and does not put the delivery of a comprehensive library service as the main offering of the building.”

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Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, insisted the authority was committed to protecting the library service.

He said: “In an ideal world I wouldn’t have touched a penny that Upper Norwood got and funded every other library to the same level, but in the reality of huge new pressures the Government is imposing on local government it is a sensible way to protect the public library service.

“We will be funding the community element but in that time they [the trust] have got to up the income from the building to make the whole building sustainable and therefore that safeguards long-term the library offer.

“We are delivering on a promise to protect Upper Norwood library in difficult financial times, it will be an interesting model that we want to learn from in order to look at how we can maximise the use of other big buildings we have throughout Croydon.”

Cllr Godfrey said the library was expected to become a self-service facility from next month.