“I BEG YOU NOT TO RAILROAD THROUGH THESE PROPOSALS”
Tate South Lambeth on South Lambeth Road, Oval is the only library to be nominated for an Accessible Britain Challenge Award in the whole of Britain.
“This is one of the libraries you propose to turn into a gym” Christina Burnett, who heads Vauxhall CIC, a local community interest company, told the meeting.
“All our work would stop in 2016. “I beg you not to railroad through these proposals. “They will destroy pioneering and cost-effective work in the community.”
There had been no consultation on the Greenwich Leisure proposals which had been developed in the utmost secrecy.
Last year Greenwich Leisure had closed the gym at the Black Prince community hub (at Beaufoy Walk off Black Prince Road Kennington) . “If they can’t make money there how can they do that at Tate South Lambeth?
“It’s against all principles of open democracy and we call for the decision process to be halted until proper consultation has taken place.
“Once you have destroyed this network and given away our building, we will never be able to recreate it.
“I beg you again to look at Lambeth’s business mutual plan and not to approve these ill-conceived proposals.”
Cllr Claire Holland (Lab, Oval ward) said residents were understandably worried about the future. “It’s important we do our utmost to prioritise those residents most at risk of isolation.”
She asked about groups using TSL – which is in the area known as ‘Little Portugal’. “We have many interests running at TSL to meet their needs – English classes, mother and toddler reading groups.
“TSL are rightly proud to have been acknowledged for their pioneering work. “Can you offer a reassurance to residents in Oval and surrounding wards that in a new look TSL there will be space for these cherished activities to continue?”
Adrian Smith, Lambeth council’s director, strategy and commissioning neighbourhoods, responding, said: “Can they continue? “Yes.” But as the debate neared its end Cllr Jack Hopkins, cabinet member for jobs and growth and an Oval ward member, said: “I’m happy to work with groups in Tate South Lambeth and find them other homes.”
Note: DIGITAL TUESDAYS has been running at TSL since 2011. It was created by Christina Burnett and is delivered by Vauxhall CIC in partnership with Lambeth Libraries and Archives and local residents.
Digital Tuesdays has a number of strands, including the regular ‘Digital Bazaar’ (runner up at the prestigious 2012 CILIP Libraries Change Lives Awards); DTvip for visually impaired people (VIPs) and the family history group for people interested in tracing their ancestors. www.digitaltuesdays.co.uk
(From the Department for Work and Pensions website: “The Accessible Britain Challenge encourages communities to be inclusive and accessible. “That means working with disabled people to remove the barriers that stop them participating fully in their community.” – Ed.)