Anyone who calls themselves a Lambeth Labour councillor should be ashamed for not listening to what people were saying, Defend the Ten campaigner Michaela Loebner told the meeting.
“What we’ve got in common at this meeting is to say ‘Listen to the people’ – there seems to be a real fear of the people.
“You say we’re being represented. “We’re not being represented.
“What characterises this situation is truth and propaganda and spin. “What is your obsession behind getting your own way?. “No-one asked anyone if they wanted a gym to replace a library service at the Carnegie library in Herne Hill.
“That’s why two years on people are still fighting. “At no point in that time has Lambeth council been listening to us at all. “We’ve been to countless meetings.
“The libraries campaign hasn’t gone away.”You might try and silence us – there have been plenty of offensive remarks made about us. “You are shameless.”
She told Labour Cllr Ed Davie: “I’m sorry it’s on the shoulders of one person but I suppose you don’t really care because you don’t listen to us.”
“ENTIRE RATIONALE FOR LAMBETH’S CULTURE 2020 WAS TO SAVE £800,000 ON LIBRARIES – THEY HAVE SPENT ALMOST £3 MILLION”
People’s Audit member Ben Rymer told the meeting: “I’m just someone who loves using libraries. “I got involved with People’s Audit when I heard Tate South Lambeth library was going to become a gym. “I thought that was odd. (Laughter)
Work the People’s Audit had done on the library service showed the service is not expensive in the grand scheme of things.
Lambeth council had spent more in 1985 on libraries than in the year just gone. “If you leave it, it will do its job.
“At Tate South Lambeth we have rooms full of people whose first language is not English.
“The entire rationale for Lambeth council’s Culture 2020 was to save £800,000 on the libraries budget. “But if you add other events, the cost of security at Carnegie library in Herne Hill and at West Norwood we are getting towards costs of £3 million.”
Further reading: TWO LIBRARIES IN LAMBETH BEING FUNDED ON A ‘MONTH BY MONTH’ BASIS – from OUTSIDE the council’s libraries budget, say campaigners – January 3, 2018
(From Defend the Ten’s website: We are a campaign which brings together library users and library staff across Lambeth to save our precious library service. We have 10 libraries in the borough and despite Lambeth council’s plan to support some libraries over others, we are working together to support the entire service, recognising that only an adequate and strong library service for the whole borough can meet the needs of our residents. That is why we are Defend the 10.)