Defend The Ten‏ @defendtheten Nov 19: 23 weeks until the local council elections & we have the huge pleasure of meeting @RuskinReaders. A real local institution, they are a voluntary group aiming to provide for adults with reading or writing difficulties, enabling them to take charge of their lives.

As @RuskinReaders clearly show, libraries are not just collections of books, they are places where community actually happens. If Lambeth or any other borough is concerned about culture or community, they need to take libraries seriously

Despite @RuskinReaders exemplifying the values & practices of Lambeths borough of culture bid, sadly the group lost their community base when @CarnegieLib shut & have received almost no support from the Council since then #OurLambeth

Chris, another volunteer, makes the important point that “as a source of support and information a library is very important especially for people who have just arrived in the country, It’s a near global concept people understand without explanation”

And Margaret points out that libraries are vital for lifelong learning & reducing isolation: “from the club the students went on to use other resources in the library like joining other groups, using the computers and printers and of course borrowing books”

Mohamed, one of the volunteers, says “‘When I started I knew nothing, Now I can read anything. @CarnegieLib had such a community feel. The librarians were so nice, so helpful. We felt like we were going to university or college”.

Paula adds “Real colleges can be daunting but the library was so friendly…The library gave me freedom to learn for FREE!” Esta, another volunteer adds “‘My children couldn’t always help me soI went to the library, joined @RuskinReaders and now I help myself’

Esta: “We really miss the library. Please help us. We need the library back”. Mohamed agrees: “This beautiful library was gifted to the community so we want it back as a library, with librarians”.


sarabredemear‏ @sarabredemear Just one of the great community groups that used to meet @CarnegieLib -unknown of and evicted by @LambethLabour. Our communities need libraries.


Sid Skill shared a link: Remember how Matthew Bennett kept insisting that Homes for Lambeth was not a private company but a (‘sort of’) housing association? Well that distinction is meaningless now. Today housing associations take the final step towards becoming massive corporate private landlords

From the Financial Times: HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS RECLASSIFIED AS PRIVATE Thursday 16 November 2017

Greenwich Leisure have been given a 20-year contract by Croydon council to run gyms in the borough from next spring.
“The new arrangements will see the council make savings of over £1m by 2021 and there will be no further public subsidies for the duration of the agreement” said a council spokesman.

The new contract will involve a full re-fit of the gym facilities at South Norwood, Thornton Heath, Purley and Waddon, and it will also see the introduction of new state-of-the-art gym and group exercise equipment and the development of outdoor tennis hubs and outdoor activity programmes.

All of the centres will meet and maintain the QUEST industry quality standard and a new membership programme will provide a variety of concessions and discounts.

GLL will also have a big part to play in developing the council’s plans for the future New Addington centre, ensuring it is fully equipped to best meet the needs of the local community.

Approximately 30 football pitches and tennis courts in the borough’s parks are also included in the contract, and the new operator will have responsibility for bookings as well as for increasing the numbers of people making use of these facilities.

Alongside these changes the council has also negotiated to ensure that GLL fully complies with the London Living Wage, as well as co-operating with Croydon Works to secure employment opportunities for local people. (Source: Croydon council press release)


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