Lambeth councillors refused to show up to a joint library committee meeting with Croydon in protest at a breach of the rules.

The row concerns Croydon Council's decison to appoint non local ward councillors onto the Upper Norwood Joint Library Committee.

The decision has been met with strong opposition by the Labour Lambeth councillors on the committee.

Such was their anger they refused to attend the scheduled annual general meeting on September 15.

Despite officers and residents turning up for the meeting, it had to be scrapped following the no-show resulting in a “farce” according to the Crystal Palace Community Assocation.

It has accused the Council of installing cabinet members in a bid to push through controversial legislation.

In a statement, it said: “Croydon Council leader Councillor Mike Fisher knows that by meeting the terms of the Joint Library agreement he would be obliged to nominate two opposition members to the Committee.

“This would remove his ability to force through the sort of damaging measures that are being inflicted on Croydon’s own libraries such as significant staff redundancies, reduced opening, privatisation or closure.”

The committee has accused the appointment of the councillors as against the committee rules, but as yet there are no formal allegations.

Councillor Sara Bashford, one of the non-ward councillors appointed by the Tory Council, denied there was any agenda.

She said: “Everyone keeps talking about legality.

“If we have done something which they believe is legally wrong they need to tell us about it.

“It is not coming from Lambeth council but residents’ groups.”

Coun Bashford said she had been told at the 11th hour the Lambeth councillors would not show up but was never given a reason.

The appointment of four cabinet members on the committee was a demonstration of its importance to the council, she claimed.

She added she had planned to offer the chairmanship of the committee to Lambeth Councillor Florence Nosegbe but was unable to after the meeting was abandoned.

She said: “We were trying to be helpful but because they did not turn up we could not appoint her.”