CARNEGIE LIBRARY: INDEPENDENT PANEL NAMED – BUT THERE'S A CATCH…..Public meeting tonight (Tuesday)

CARNEGIE LIBRARY INDEPENDENT PANEL MEMBERS NAMED (but there’s a catch….)

The four people on the independent assessment panel set to decide which of two groups gets to take over the running of the Carnegie library, Herne Hill have now been named following a Freedom of Information request.

The three – all of whom are Lambeth council officers – are:

Helen Charlesworth-May, Strategic Director ‐ Adults and Health*;

Bruce McRobie, Development Surveyor / Corporate Resources*; and

Andrew Ramsden, Head of Finance, Neighbourhoods and. Growth*; and, as previously reported,
Emily Berwyn from Meanwhile Space.

But any decision they make could be overturned by Lambeth councillors who sit on a council sub-committee known as AMCAP (Asset Management Cabinet Advisory Panel) – all four of whom are LABOUR cabinet members.

Two groups – the Carnegie Community Trust (a self-elected group of five which includes two former Lambeth Labour councillors and the life partner of a former Lambeth council Labour leader) – and the Carnegie Library Association (formed by the Friends of Carnegie Library and with support from local amenity organisations and whose trustees are elected annually) – have applied to take over the running of the library.

Lambeth council’s constitution states: “The Panel (AMCAP) has no formal decision-making powers. “It may include any member of the council (such as deputy cabinet members), officers, stakeholders, etc. and may call on these individuals to give evidence as required by the chair.

Its core membership is set out below. However, there is no requirement for panel meetings to be open to the public or for any related reports or minutes to be made available to other councillors or to the public.

Further, and accordingly, the provisions of the Access to Information Procedure Rules and of the Cabinet Procedure Rules (Part 3 of the Council’s Constitution) shall not apply unless expressly indicated to the contrary. Governance context The Asset Management Cabinet Advisory Panel is accountable to Cabinet. The Panel operates within the council’s wider corporate governance framework.

Membership of the panel in the 2016 -17 financial year was: Deputy Leader of the Council (Investment and Partnerships) (Chair) Cllr Paul McGlone; • Deputy Leader of the Council (Finance) Cllr Imogen Walker; • Cabinet Member for Housing (Cllr Matthew Bennett); and, • Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Business and Culture (Cllr Jack Hopkins). Other Cabinet members may attend from time to time.

The Chair may invite other Councillors and individuals external to the Council to attend on occasion. The Director of Finance will be the lead officer, and will determine which officers will attend each particular meeting and should prepare reports and respond to issues raised.

The Asset Management Cabinet Advisory Panel will endeavour to give direction by consensus, but by a show of hands if necessary.

News From Crystal Palace understands that Cllr McGlone was involved in the secret precursor to the Carnegie Community Trust in its very early days.

But in a statement Cllr McGlone told News From Crystal Palace: “I am not part of the panel assessing the business cases and I have no involvement with the Carnegie Community Trust or the Carnegie Library Association, and therefore I fail to see any conflict of interest.”

As News From Crystal Palace has previously reported, back in November 2015 the then cabinet minister for culture which included libraries, Cllr Jane Edbrooke, said: “As agreed at cabinet, officers and I will work with the Carnegie Community Trust to develop a workable proposal.”

The cabinet meeting on October 12th 2015 agreed several recommendations including:

The provision of five town centre libraries at Brixton, Streatham, West Norwood, and Clapham libraries.

A four week consultation period during November 2015 to help determine if Durning library rather than Tate South Lambeth library will provide a temporary fifth town centre library in the north of the borough until 2022.

The existing library service at Waterloo, Minet, and Upper Norwood and Carnegie libraries is replaced by the new neighbourhood library service as specified in this report.

The (very noisy) cabinet meeting – held at Dunraven school – also agreed a resolution put forward by Herne Hill ward Labour Cllr Jim Dickson.**

That GLL (Greenwich Leisure) will be instructed to work in partnership with local people and the shadow trust board to develop community hub and library;

·         That the final decision of mix of uses of the building will be taken in full consultation with the shadow trust board;

·         That the council will consider introducing an earlier break clause than the seven years proposed in the report to be invoked when the trust board are ready for the Carnegie building to be transferred to the trust;

·         That any time required for the closure of the library for improvementschanges to the building will be kept to a minimum

CAN WE  FIX IT? YES WE CAN!

Defend the 10 campaigners dressed up as Bob the Builder outside Greenwich Lesiure-run Brixton Rec on Saturday (April 29).

“Greenwich Leisure are all set to dig out the basement at Carnegie Library, Herne Hill (cost £700,000) to install a gym nobody wants. “This makes no earthly sense.

“It is still possible to re-open a full library service at the closed  Carnegie and Minet libraries AND save money – despite the damage and the huge waste of funds already perpetrated by Lambeth council.

“If only GLL and the council would stop wasting our time and money and LISTEN TO LOCAL PEOPLE!

THE FIGHT ISN’T OVER – IT’S JUST BEGINNING!

FIND OUT MORE. PUBLIC MEETING AT LONGFIELD HALL, 50 KNATCHBULL ROAD, SE5 9QY (opposite Minet library). 7pm, TUESDAY MAY 2

(*Editor’s note: Job titles taken from Internet and may not be exact / current – Ed.)

**Further reading: “IT’S A LIBRARY, JIM – BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT”   Reporter’s log, stardate 121.02.015    Dunraven school, London, Planet Earth News From Crystal Palace October 16, 2015

“WE WILL WORK WITH OUR LABOUR CHUMS” – EDBROOKE News From Crystal Palace November 17, 2015

LABOUR SUPPORTERS BEHIND ‘COMMUNITY GROUP’ News From Crystal Palace November 17, 2015

Lambeth libraries – Frequently asked questions News From Crystal Palace May 06, 2016

OPINION: IT MATTERS, MR ISAAC News From Crystal Palace June 06, 2016

COMMUNITY INTEREST ORGANISATIONS RULES – “INVOLVEMENT WITH POLITICAL PARTIES MUST BE BALANCED” SAY CHARITY COMMISSION News From Crystal Palace March 24 2017

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