Post-war slum clearance in north Lambeth – local stories

After the Second World War, streets of Victorian and Edwardian housing classified as slums were cleared in the Stockwell-Oval-Kenninnngton neighbourhood. Some people gained from this deelopment, obtaining homes on the new housing estates that were subsequently built. But some local residents resisted what amounted to sweeeping destruction of the area’s building heritage – and attractive and loved, if sometimes rundown, housing.

On Wednesday 3rd October local residents will come together at the Tate South Lambeth Library to talk about their experience of slum clearance and its aftermath.

All welcome.

Organised by the Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library.

Post-war slum clearance in north Lambeth – local stories
Wednesday 3 October 2012, 7pm

South Lambeth Library 180 South Lambeth Road SW8 1QP
Donation: £2

Film night: Carnival On Film

On Wednesday 17th October (6.45pm for 7pm screening) Film Night presents “an evening with Keith Musaman Morton”

Local film-maker Keith Musaman Morton introduces and answers questions about four films  focusing on Trinidad and Tobago and Carnival:

The Other Side of Carnival by Charysse Tia Harper, offers a critical look at Trinidad & Tobago’s present-day Carnival. (Running time 45 minutes)
Fifty in Fifteen by Keith Morton and Charysse Tia Harper looks at the people and events that have put Trinidad and Tobago on the world stage during its 50 years of Independence. (Running time 20 minutes)
Brief History of Notting Hill Carnival by Lottie Pole and Keith Morton explores the unknown factors that created Europe’s largest street festival. (Running time 11 minutes)
Panomundo by Keith Morton and Charysse Tia Harper. A teaser trailer of the forthcoming feature documentary on the birth of the Steel Pan and how it has travelled the world. (Running time 7 minutes)

This event forms part of the Black History Month programme at Lambeth libraries.

Before and Forever: Munirah Olton of Salongo Arts

Now showing at Tate Local, the gallery in the library: Before and Forever: Munirah Olton of Salongo Arts,  a contemporary re-working of the strip-woven cloths of Ghana, West Africa

Printed and woven textiles have been sourced from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe, to reflect the roots, journey and community of the African Diaspora. ” Before and Forever” reminds us that what was there before – the sea, the earth, the light, the sun, the sky and the land – all of this remains and will be forever.

Salongo means ” We come together to create something beautiful – out of love”

The exhibition also features sculptural pottery by Munirah Olton.

We want to hear local memories

Friends of TSL want to hear from long-time residents in our neighbourhood (Stockwell, Oval and Kennington) who can tell us about their experience of the slum clearances here in the years after the Second World War right up to the 1970s, and the effect these had on their lives.

One such resident will tell his own story at a meeting at Tate South Lambeth Library on Wednesday October 3rd 2012, starting at 7pm.

Why not join in with your memories?

And if the slum clearances did not affect you directly, do you know someone they did affect? Encourage them to come along.

Do you have views on that slum clearance episode? Tell the meeting.

Notify us if you plan to come (email friendsoftsl@hotmail.com or leave a note addressed to Friends of TSL at the library desk) – or just turn up

Opening up the rear courtyard for everyone to see

A new “see-through” metal gate has now been installed at Tradescant’s Retreat – the courtyard and garden area at the rear of the library. So people walking along Wilcox Close can get a clear view of the garden that Friends and the gardening group looks after, and the pleasant open patio area with table and chairs for alfresco meetings.

Our thanks go to CLS Holdings plc, which paid for the gate and associated security work that will allow greater use of Tradescant’s Retreat.

The August 8 Co-design meeting: an interim report by Friends

On August 8th Friends of TSL hosted the first of Lambeth’s “co-design” meetings where the local community is invited to participate in planning the future of their library.

Lambeth is currently absorbing the responses at the meeting and plans to publish its conclusions and proposals for action in the next few weeks. When it does, we will report back to you and post our comments on www.tatesouthlambethfriends.org.

But in the meantime here are some of our findings.

The session did not, as Friends had hoped, take forward the priorities identified in previous feedback consultations and move into a detailed examination, with Council personnel, of the options for next year’s budget , and specifically how the scheduled cut of one eighth in spending should be achieved.

Instead this was essentially another consultation exercise on what people want from the library service. Friends membership has already been consulted on this on several occasions – and many are now getting tired.

This result was inevitable, since a large number of those attending (the meeting numbered 50) had not previously engaged in consultation on the library service and many were not familiar with the library offer at TSL, or the specifics of the funding situation.

We do however welcome the broader community participation this evening brought. It is one of the core purposes of Friends of TSL to increase local familiarity with the library and so enhance both its use and its responsiveness to local needs and demands. And bringing in members of the local community not previously reached also brings in new ideas on how the library should operate and what it should offer. We certainly do not claim to represent the whole neighbourhood – just one section which articulates and acts on its support for the local library.

So the evening achieved something that we want – if not what we were looking for on this occasion.

Come along and help make our library the best it can be

Lambeth Council has now agreed budgets for all libraries in the borough – including Tate South Lambeth. It wants to hear your ideas on how the money allocated to TSL Library should be spent – which services should be offered, which activities should take place.

The library faces a cut of 1/8th in funds next year (April 2013-March 2014), so some reduction in the service is inevitable. At the same time new activities could expand the use of the library by the local community and could bring in income to help support  the library.

The Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library with support from Stockwell Partnership and Lambeth Council invite you all, as members of the local community and before any final decisions are made, to bring your ideas, views, proposals to: Tate South Lambeth Library, 180 South Lambeth Road on Wednesday 8th August 2012  from 6pm-8pm

Calling all independent film makers… we have a space

“Very interesting to see a film that has not been on general release. Will be good to see unusual films here.”

“Excellent documentary. So out of the box.”

“Good to show non–mainstream films.”

That, and more of the same thing, was the feedback Friends of TSL got after the screening, on July 18th, of Revolution– a documentary about the life and music of two Cuban hip hop performers, which has been shown in some countries but is not on general release here. A friend of the director gave an introduction and answered questions from the audience afterwards.

The response has made us re-think the content of our programme of monthly film shows – we now want to include more screenings of non-mainstream films.

So this is an invitation to anyone who has made an independent film or owns the copyright to come forward to introduce and show the film at Tate South Lambeth Library. We can offer publicity on the Lambeth library network, local websites and blog partners. And an appreciative audience.

Please contact us at friendsoftsl@hotmail.com

WiFi is on at the library

At last, after years of lobbying and rather faster than we thought likely after Lambeth Council undertook earlier this year, wifi was installed in mid-July at Tate South Lambeth Library and is now up and running.

To use it all you need is your library membership number (on your library card) and a PIN. If you don’t already have a PIN for your library card the staff will furnish you with one.

Enjoy.

The shape of things to come – the Cooperative Libraries policy goes before Lambeth Council

Lambeth Council officers have now submitted their proposals for library policy for consideration by the Council cabinet on July 9th 2012.

These proposals have been drawn up after three months of public consultation (in January-April) which has prompted some modification of the original set of proposals.

The latest proposals represent :

  • no change in the underlying principle
  • a significant change in the share out of the cut in overall funding of the service
  • some uncertainty both as to the exact evolution of the community hub model for smaller libraries and as to the size of capital funds available for investment

What remains the same?

No current library will face closure.

The library service will in essence be two-tier – three large “central” libraries (at Brixton, Clapham and Streatham) which will be the focus of service development and six smaller “local” libraries (seven if Upper Norwood, jointly funded with Croydon, is included).

All but one of the six libraries will become “community hubs”, offering a wider range of services to the local community but with library service as the “themed service priority”. There will be scope for local partnership, with its exact nature and extent depending on local conditions, capacity and interest.

What has changed?

Responding to widely and strongly expressed public objections, the burden of the cut in library service funding over the years 2012/12 and 2013/14 has been more evenly spread. Specifically more cuts will be made in central, borough-wide services, allowing smaller cuts in funding for the smaller libraries.

How much funding each of the small libraries gets is determined by local need. The original proposals also took into account past performance (visits, items borrowed).

These two changes have left Tate South Lambeth Library with a significantly higher settlement. Spending in the current year will be reduced by £3,000 from £230,000 last year and by £29,000 next. This represents a reduction of 14% between 2011/12 and 2013/14 – instead of the 42% proposed in the consultation document, which would have meant a cut of £96,000 per year.

What is uncertain?

What remains unclear at this stage is how Tate South Lambeth Library will evolve as a community hub library and what adaptations of the building this will entail. Lambeth proposes to fund a survey, condition and options appraisal.

The other current uncertainty is about the £6m capital programme of investment and renewal that is now being proposed (half to make libraries “fit for purpose” and half for the development of community hubs). That sum will be provided from the sale of Council assets – which, as the documents recognise, is” subject to market conditions”.

If you want to see the details…

The detailed proposals – for both Cooperative Libraries and Community Hubs –together with an analysis of the consultation results can be found on: http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=225&MId=8105&Ver=4  (Follow the link to Agenda reports)