The Labour-dominated group which have been given the green light to take over Carnegie library, Herne Hill were quick out of the starting blocks on Friday.

“Carnegie Community Trust CIO are pleased to announce that the Trust has been selected by Lambeth Council as the Preferred community group to take an Asset Transfer of the Carnegie Library building as originally envisaged in the Council’s Community Hub policy for empowering communities to take control of local assets” Phil Isaac announced in triumph.
“The Trust has worked on development plans for the Carnegie since 2012 and is pleased that this decision moves the process of enabling a community group to take ownership of the Carnegie building a step closer.”

Yes – In secret. Even the Friends of Carnegie Library did not know of your existence until two to three YEARS later when the then cabinet member for culture Cllr Jane Edbrooke let the proverbial cat out of the bag.

“Although the library is a much-loved facility in Herne Hill, the building has been under-used in the past.”

Under-used? asked one lady library campaigner. Her one word reply in response was a most unladylike one. It rhymes with hollyhocks.

“We have created a vision for a new Community Hub that will provide space for a library service and for the rest of the community space to be used for an exciting range of social, educational, cultural and economic uses that, in addition to library users, will attract many more Herne Hill residents into the building.”

So where is this vision?

The Trust aims to make every inch of the building work hard for the community.
Does this include putting gym equipment in, or holding keep fit classes on, the main ground floor of the library?

“In addition, our plans provide for a major refurbishment to restore this beautiful landmark building to its original glory and make it fit-for-purpose for the next 100 years.”
Where’s the money coming from for this? Or have Lambeth council given it to you already?
The officers report says: “The Carnegie Herne Hill Community Trust CIO is seeking to undertake a heritage development project of up to £5m.”

“Although, there is no commitment by any funder to-date to such a project it demonstrates a significant degree of ambition.”

Perhaps Lambeth council will bung you the £5 million. They seem to be able to find funds easily enough for things they like.

“Our project proposes to attract major capital investment to do this work which will result in Herne Hill having an iconic community and cultural facility well into the future.”

Herne Hill already has an iconic community and cultural facility: the Carnegie library Herne Hill. Problem is: it’s been closed for the last 16 months.
“This decision means that we can start negotiations with the council on the terms of bringing the Carnegie into community ownership through their asset transfer policy…….

Negotiations. In secret. Between Labour councillors and a self-elected group of five which includes two former Lambeth labour councilors and the life partner of a former Lambeth Labour council leader.

….. and we look forward to sharing the outcomes of those talks with the community.”

“We look forward to sharing the outcomes of those talks with the community.” How incredibly arrogant. 

Assuming that those negotiations go smoothly….

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Isaac?
….we will be discussing the plans with other local community groups……

Really? Will this will include the Friends of Carnegie Library? Remember what happened in the past with your group?.

This is what Jeff Doorn, chairman of the Friends of Carnegie Library, says: “When the library was designated a ‘community hub’ a Friends-led development group should have been set up, with other stakeholder groups.

“Instead, the ward councillors hijacked the process, and (then-cllr) Carol Boucher drew ex-cllr Fred Taggart and Paul McGlone into a ‘Project Group’.

“I was on that group, and soon found myself the only voice speaking for the library service and the Friends’ membership.  “The three steering group members Carol, Fred & Frances ganged up on me and told me to resign, then treated me as though I had.

“The Friends committee put forward as Friends’ rep Stephen (who was not at that time on the committee but was a former Chair); but they excluded him by never letting him know when they were meeting.

“I chased them several times, and was eventually informed the Project Group no longer existed and they’d formed a Shadow Trust Board, the implication being there was no room for a Friends’ rep.”

.…..and will move forward as quickly as possible to throw open participation and membership of the Carnegie Community Trust to everyone in Herne Hill and the surrounding areas.

Participation? Does this include actual public meetings? Will people be able to vote at these meetings?

As the Carnegie Community Trust’s own constitution says: Membership of the CIO (1) The members of the CIO shall be its charity trustees for the time being. The only persons eligible to be members of the CIO are its charity trustees. Membership of the CIO cannot be transferred to anyone else. ….(1) The charity trustees may create associate or other classes of NON-VOTING membership, and may determine the rights and obligations of any such members (including payment of membership fees), and the conditions for admission to, and termination of membership of any such class of members. (2) Associate membership shall be open to individuals aged 18 years or over who are either (a) resident in the area of benefit, (b) using the premises under a contract or (c) a patron of the CIO. (3) Associate membership shall be open to voluntary and community organisations that operate in the area of benefit and to any organisation that is using the premises under a contract. Organisations may appoint one of their number to represent them at meetings.

“We would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported this project so far…..
That should be easy. You can thank them personally. There can’t be many of them.  Just all your Labour mates on Lambeth council.

……and look forward to inviting more volunteers.
Ah Volunteers! let’s see how many you get from the local community who are NOT card-carrying members of the Lambeth Labour party.

The officers report also has this gem: 4.7….Finally whilst the panel were content that the group would be able to build on current community engagement, some work would need to be done in re-building relationships with the council.

Re-build??? You’ve been working with them in secret since 2012!!!!!!!!


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