MORE LABOUR OPPOSITION TO LAMBETH LIBRARIES PLANS
DULWICH AND WEST NORWOOD Labour Party have voted in favour of all 10 Lambeth libraries remaining open as fully-functioning libraries.
A motion for last night’s (Thursday) meeting of the constituency’s general committee – moved by Thurlow Park branch delegate James Goodman- called on Lambeth council to:
1) reverse their decision to enter into agreement with GLL.
2) focus its resource on developing the proposals suggested by Lambeth
Head of Libraries Susanna Barnes.
3) launch an appeal to the wider community to contribute further
proposals regarding the running of the library service.
4) take all proposals received to public consultation as soon as possible.
5) make sure that all ten libraries and the Home Visit Service remain
open as fully-functioning libraries after 1 April 2016.
Delegates voted 16 in favour, eight against – with one abstention, say Friends of Lambeth Libraries.
“James Goodman did an excellent job of succinctly describing the financial advantages of head of
libraries Susanna Barnes’s plan to keep all Lambeth’s 10 libraries full-sized and fully-staffed, making the same savings as the universally hated libraries-into-gyms plan” added the Friends in a statement.
“Lambeth Labour council leader Cllr Lib Peck and another councillor warbled the usual nonsense about needing to prioritise domestic violence etc. “Cllr Jim “Gym” Dickson did his standard promo for the ersatz ‘community trust’ attempting to take over the Carnegie library.
“We had a dozen or so library supporters outside the meeting handing out leaflets and chatting to people as they arrived for the meeting.”
The resolution approved at last night’s meeting had previously been passed by the Herne Hill and Thurlow Park ward Labour parties.
“LIBRARY CLOSURES PLANS COULD HARM LABOUR IN MAY”
In the same statement, the Friends have highlighted comments by the chairman of the Friends of Carnegie library Jeff Doorn.
“Jeff Doorn says Lambeth’s hated libraries plan can be expected to harm Labour at:
1. The GLA and Mayoral election, because Labour Lambeth would close five libraries on 31st March.
2. The Council elections due in May 2018, because it would then be apparent that Lambeth had wasted over £4 million converting three of the buildings, including the Carnegie’s, from libraries and subsidising their use – even though Lambeth did not know what that use would be and there was no significant demand for the possible uses suggested (as gyms or church hall type accommodation for hiring out.
“The cost of the three libraries totals less than £500,000
3. The General Election due in 2020, because the three buildings would be required to break even by the 2018/19 financial year, which is not a realistic prospect.
“They would be closed and put up for sale, with the proceeds to be spent on matters unrelated to libraries despite the buildings having been donated for use as libraries.
“Moreover, since large sums would have been spent on the conversion works without any tendering process, there would almost certainly be allegations of corruption in circulation.”
Further reading: Public Libraries News –
Fun Palaces in Public Libraries: What, How and Why … the case study of Lambeth