RE-OPEN CARNEGIE AND MINET LIBRARIES NOW – CAMPAIGNERS LOBBY TONIGHT’S COUNCIL MEETING
Library campaigners will be lobbying tonight’s meeting of Lambeth council calling for the immediate re-opening of the Carnegie library at Herne Hill and the Minet libnrary in Brixton.
“No money is being saved, there is no properly developed plan and locking public and staff out of the buildings is causing them to fall quickly into disrepair” say Friends of Lambeth Libraries.
“It makes no moral or practical sense for these buildings to be closed at this time.”
Tonight’s council meeting at Elmgreen secondary school, Elmcourt Rd SE27 at 7pm comes just two days after a council cabinet meeting finally ditched plans to shut a sheltered housing scheme in Hamilton Road, Gipsy Hill and sell it off for affordable housing.
In August 2013 the South London Press reported how Queenswood Court in Hamilton Road, Gipsy Hill, was earmarked for closure, with the land being sold off to make way for affordable housing.
“But long-standing residents want the council to invest a small sum to bring the home up to “decent homes” standard instead of selling it off” the paper reported.
Now Lambeth have done a U-turn and agreed to retain both Queenswood Court and another sheltered housing scheme at 269 Leigham Court Road (now known as Macintosh Court).
Friends of Carnegie library re-enacted the opening of the library 110 years ago on Saturday.
In 1906 speakers included the Mayor, councillors, two MPs, and Lambeth benefactress Lady Edith Durning-Lawrence.
In 2016…”Lady Edith” (Laura Swaffield, in grey) pointed out that her husband Sir Edwin, was one of the first Lambeth library commissioners, who laid down that: “The great extent, the extreme length… and the very fantastic shape of the parish, compel the establishment of district libraries and reading rooms in different localities of the parish, so that every person shall be within a few minutes’ walk of one of them…Ten …should be established…”
[Today, with a much larger population, Lambeth is closing FOUR of its 10 libraries, say FOLL.]
She added: “I am certain that the councillors of Lambeth will have the decency and the good sense to continue their support. “They asked Mr Carnegie for the money for a new library. “They have solemnly promised him that the library will continue to be fully funded and supported. “How can they fail to honour their agreement?”
Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (John Cagan, in boater & green/blue blazer), who paid the huge sum of £12,500 to build the library, pointed out that he he had stipulated as express conditions that Lambeth must “Provide 10 percent of the cost of the library’s construction annually to support its operation, and use the building as a library only. “Building plans must not include other city or recreational facilities.”
[Today Lambeth has cut all funding. Lambeth and Greenwich Leisure are paying millions to dig out the basement and put in a gym that nobody wants, say FOLL.]
The wife of 1906 Lambeth Librarian Frank Burgoyne (Lisa Roberts, in black with black hat) pointed out that she had lived in the librarian’s apartment in the building, which was specially designed to receive noise from the library so that any problems could be swiftly dealt with.
“People living now in that space dread the noise from building works and a gym with thumping music…
Other speakers were embodied by Jeff Doorn, who chairs the Friends of Carnegie Library (in boater with yellow blazer). All speakers called for the library to re-open. Now.
(Photo by Matt Lloyd)