QUOTES FROM THE LIBRARIES FRONTLINE – AND ELSEWHERE
“It is disappointing that we haven’t had the exact plans in place on the day the door closes, “I’ll acknowledge that.” – Jane Edbrooke, quoted in Lambeth library plans condemned as ‘absolute shambles’ – report by Peter Walker, Guardian online March 31st 2016
What happens next?
First we need the occupation of the library to stop so that we are not spending money on security guards but improving local facilities.
“Second there will be an opportunity for residents to give comment on the detailed plans to the design in the coming weeks. “For the basement option to go ahead, the council will need to apply for planning permission.
“Third, we will work with local groups to ensure their activities and ideas are included in the new design and operation of the building. “And we hope that the local community trust,* which has been developing a business case for the building, works closely with the residents so that they are in a position to take over the lease.” – Jane Edbrooke in Lambeth council circular to people living near the Carnegie library in the wake of the occupation.
RESOLVED TO BATTLE ON
Our annual general meeting on 17 March expressed a clear determination to continue our vigorous campaign in conjunction with Friends of Lambeth Libraries and the staff to prevent closure of Carnegie library and other free public libraries in the borough. Angry that the council’s proposals will end up costing millions more than keeping the library as it is, a motion was proposed and passed unanimously:
“This meeting calls on Helen Hayes MP, all candidates for Mayor of London, and all candidates for the Lambeth/Southwark London Assembly seat to condemn the scandalous expenditure proposed for converting Carnegie and Minet libraries into gyms at a time of straitened public finances”.
There was a motion of no confidence in the Carnegie Community Trust* as they are not a community organisation but a self-appointed group who do not represent or engage with any community groups. This passed by a large majority, the only votes opposed being from the two Trust members present.
A representative of one of the groups who meet in the library proposed a vote of no confidence in the three Herne Hill ward councillors, asking them to stand down as they have ignored the views of their constituents. A member added that this also should apply to Jane Edbrooke in her cabinet role. This motion and demand for all four to resign was carried unopposed. – Friends of Carnegie Library website
“While they knock back wine in the library, almost 5000 homeless Lambeth children go to bed in temp accommodation…- Lambeth Cllr Matthew Bennett, Twitter
“I was very pleased when the first motion I put to the (Camden) council was passed in November, and there is now a £1 million reserve fund to help prevent local community centres and libraries from closing” – Sian Berry, Green party candidate for Lambeth and Southwark on the GLA, on her website. (Note: Sian is the ONLY Green party councillor on Labour-controlled Camden council – Ed.)
“A notice outside the (Minet) library tells people that the library is now closed but will open as a ‘healthy living centre’ (whatever that is) sometime in 2017.
“Whether they mean Jan 2017 or December 2017 no one knows. “Lambeth aren’t interested in divulging the details. Opinion: Lambeth council – THIS is why libraries are important” – Mike Urban, Brixton Buzz, April 5th 2016
“Finally, we need to talk about Alex.
“I only tried to engage with Alex Bigham (@alexbigham) once over the weekend. “Even then, it was only because he was responding to everyone who asked him a difficult question or dared to disagree with him with a cat GIF. (Graphics Interchange Format)
“Yep. “An elected representative cared so much about the constituents of Lambeth and their views on libraries that he would dodge their questions entirely with a picture of a cat.
“I kept out of it until he responded to another Twitter user’s comment about how they were following the protest with interest with the comment that he was following the People vs OJ with interest. “I politely pointed out to Alex that this really wasn’t the appropriate behaviour for a councillor.
“I got blocked immediately.” (Older and Greyer website)
*See: LABOUR SUPPORTERS BEHIND ‘COMMUNITY GROUP’ November 17, 2015 – elsewhere on News From Crystal Palace