WHAT IS HAPPENING TO LAMBETH LIBRARIES? MARCH 2016

Back in March 2016 Lambeth council issued an information / disinformation piece headed: “What is happening to Lambeth libraries.?” At the time News From Crystal Palace wrote a spoof version of it. We thought we’d posted it. Here, better late than never, – and updated – is the UNOFFICIAL version.

What is happening to Lambeth libraries?

March 2016: We’ve no idea. We wanted to turn three of the libraries into gyms but we didn’t mention that in the ‘consultation’. Now the pond life are saying they’d rather have libraries. We were obliged to issue the ‘consultation’ document on Culture 2020 by law. What a waste of time and money that was. As we have already said: “The Culture 2020 report which is online is the outcome of that consultation.” So that’s that.

(2018: LAMBETHWATCH: HEALTHY LIVING CENTRES MOVE AGREED ‘IN PRINCIPLE’ MONTHS BEFORE CULTURE 2020 SAY PEOPLE’S AUDIT News From Crystal Palace May 3rd)

Is it true that Lambeth council is closing five libraries?

No. We’re only closing three – Waterloo and the Minet. And by merging the Durning library and Tate South Lambeth library into one building we’ll be closing a third.

As far as the Carnegie and Minet go what we said in our original FAQs was: “They will offer self-service facilities providing residents with a limited supply of books which they can loan and return…”

We’re also spending £10,000 a month on two 24/7 security guards at the Carnegie. And we’ve taken away the staff keys. Let’s hope the security guards don’t go on strike!.

We also said in our original FAQs that the Minet would “continue to provide a reduced library service.” Luckily the vast majority of the pond life haven’t spotted that bit about a reduced library service yet.

(2017 LAMBETHWATCH: “WE’VE NOT BEEN INVOLVED WITH THE MINET FOR OVER A YEAR” SAY GREENWICH LEISURE  AND A NEW TOWN HALL QUESTION ANSWERED September 29th)

News item begins:  Greenwich Leisure appear to have backed out of plans to use the Minet library in Knatchbull Road SE5 for one of their unwanted gyms.

A report to next Monday’s Lambeth council cabinet meeting on the future of the borough archives, currently based at the Minet, states:  “2.45 Following a number of discussions, the provision of a Healthy Living Centre is not being pursued at this time. “

And that’s it. No indication of WHY.

March 2016: Lambeth council: Upper Norwood joint library will continue to have a library service funded by Lambeth and Croydon councils as it has been for decades…”The council is funding computers, Wi-Fi and book stock.”

We didn’t mention library staff. There weren’t going to be ANY. Thankfully no-one realised this!! Now there’s going to be just ONE!! Aren’t we CLEVER!!! Heaven knows when this was decided. We certainly couldn’t tell you – or where the money for the one staff member came from.

March 2016  Lambeth council: Waterloo library will close but not until June. It’s moving into the Oasis centre.

We won’t be telling you how much rent we’ll be paying.

March 2016: Lambeth council: West Norwood library will move into a brand new building in 2017.

(October 2018: It still hasn’t moved.)

What about the Carnegie Trust?

March 2016: What about it? There are five members of the Trust. Two of them are former Lambeth Labour councillors and a third is the life partner of a former Lambeth council leader. As we said: “The council’s worked with the Trust for years and will continue to do so to make sure local people get the best use from the combined services.”

(2017:

CARNEGIE LIBRARY SENSATION: EX-LABOUR COUNCILLORS QUIT GROUP “Lambeth’s deal with Greenwich Leisure still not fully clear to us” say Trust

News From Crystal Palace November 30th)

News item begins: “Two of the five self-elected members of the Carnegie Community trust – which is set to take over the running of the Carnegie library Herne Hill – have sensationally quit.

In a statement released yesterday (29th) the Trust say: “In view of the actions and behaviour of the council, its failure to deal with the trust in a professional and competent manner, and its reversal of the asset transfer policy as proposed to us in 2012, Carol Boucher, as chair of the board, and Fred Taggart, as secretary, (both former Lambeth Labour councillors – Ed.) both feel unable to continue.”

We have completely ignored the Friends of Carnegie Library who we don’t want to talk to any way. They’ll only complain about having a gym in the library. And they might ask us difficult questions like ‘What’s happened to the mobile book stock in the Carnegie basement?’ which is where we and Greenwich Leisure want to put the gym.

It’s not about what the library users and local residents want. It’s about what WE want.

Further reading: CARNEGIE LIBRARY BOMBSHELL: LAMBETH PLAN TO GIVE BUILDING TO GREENWICH LEISURE TO RUN IF ‘COMMUNITY’ PLAN FAILS April 5th 2018

(October 2018: News From Crystal Palace understands a meeting may have taken place between Lambeth council and Carnegie  Community Trust last month. No indications yet, if it did take place, as to what it was about)

What about the staff mutual proposal?

What about it?  As we said, it wasn’t viable. We may have decided that in just 24 hours just like the officers did with that 326-page ‘Peoples Plan’ on refurbishing the Cressingham Gardens estate rather than demolishing it. Are we bovvered?

What are GLL getting out of it and what are they contributing?

Lambeth council: As the Culture 2020 report states, GLL are facilitating £1 million in revenue over two years, and £1 million capital towards the fit-out of the buildings. (Editors note: What buildings these are was not specified)

(2017: “COUNCIL SHOULD PAY RENT FOR LIBRARY GYM IF GREENWICH LEISURE DON’T” SAY LABOUR-DOMINATED GROUP (and there’s no planning permission to let business users back in) November 20th)

News item begins: Lambeth council should pay the market rent for the unwanted gym in the basement of the Carnegie library at Herne Hill if Greenwich Leisure don’t.

That’s the message from the the Labour-dominated Carnegie Community Trust set to take over the running of the grade II listed building. It’s the latest bonkers chapter in the Carnegie Saga.

As News From Crystal Palace has previously reported Lambeth council have steamed ahead with plans to put a gym in the basement of the library despite massive opposition from everybody but themselves.

Monies from renting out the basement would go towards funding the library, Lambeth argued.

The council, which has been congratulating itself on its “improved financial management”, then announced that Greenwich Leisure could have the gym in the basement RENT-FREE for the first five years after it opens…..(October 3rd News From Crystal Palace)

How did GLL get chosen as the provider?

The official three-line answer includes the following: “GLL are not being contracted to deliver a library service.”

AND THE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

Please could you give the detailed surveys made by, or on behalf of, Lambeth council on the demand for gyms in libraries. When were these surveys made? Who undertook them? Which committee asked for these surveys? What was the cost to the council?

Why are you posing the question: “What will be the the charge for using the gyms?” when no-one wants them anyway.?

AND  FINALLY…

Is the FAQ on gym charges really one of the most frequently asked questions?

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