Loony Lambeth – Two: GYMS IN LIBRARIES DEALS NOT YET SIGNED?
Contracts to install gyms in the Carnegie library at Herne Hill and the Minet library in Knatchbull Road SE5 don’t appear to have been signed – but answers from Lambeth council on both issues this week are as clear as mud.
Both libraries have been closed for more than a year. Planning permission has been granted by Lambeth to turn the basement of the Carnegie into a gym – despite massive local opposition from residents and library users alike.
A clause in the planning permission gives Greenwich Leisure the right to take more space on the main ground floor of the library subject to an unspecified council officer’s approval.
Rumours have begun circulating the lending library part of the Minet might re-open in June – Lambeth Labour having an eye on next May’s council elections.
On April 26th News From Crystal Palace emailed Lambeth council’s chief executive Sean Harriss with the following questions:
1: Please could you provide the exact date Lambeth council signed an agreement with Greenwich Leisure regarding Carnegie library Herne Hill?
2: Please could you provide the exact date Lambeth council signed an agreement with Greenwich Leisure regarding the Minet library?
3: On April 20th News From Crystal Palace emailed you in connection with two matters, one of which asked: Today’s issue of Private Eye (cover features people sitting on deckchairs) has an item on page 33 headed Library News which states that you met Greenwich Leisure officials in July 2015. Would you have any comment to make on the article please?
Lambeth council’s press office, responding, said: “GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd) has had a contract to provide leisure services for the council since 2007. “Specific agreements relating to particular local arrangements and individual buildings are still under negotiation. “Sean Harriss has no comment to make on the Private Eye article.”
News From Crystal Palace responded: “Does this mean that the gym contracts for both Carnegie and the Minet have yet to be signed please? “If any contracts have been signed for both libraries what do they currently cover please?”
To which Lambeth council’s press office responded: “As I’ve said, specific agreements relating to particular local arrangements and individual buildings are still under negotiation.”