We have an opportunity to block the shutdown of Tate South Lambeth Library for conversion to a “healthy living centre” ( ie a gym with an unattended library corner).
By responding to a consultation paper on Durning Library and Tate South Lambeth Library that is now in the library and online at www.lambeth.gov.uk/durning-and-tate-south-lambeth-libraries-consultation
The consultation paper from Lambeth is unacceptable as it stands (see below).
BUT we must all give a response – because otherwise Durning Library will remain as a proper library, and Tate South Lambeth will become an unwanted gym with a few bookshelves and little more.
We suggest that you
(1) Answer questions 1 and 2, with “strongly oppose”.
(2) Write in the space below these questions: “This document does not give us the option of stating our strong preference for Tate South Lambeth Library as the town centre library for the north.”
(3) Say which services/activities you would lose if Tate South Lambeth’s library service is reduced to a book-borrowing facility, with no librarian in place.
Why do we say this?
Lambeth Council has published a consultation paper which – supposedly – asks us to choose which of the two large local libraries in this area – Tate South Lambeth and Durning – will be the new, single town centre library for the north of the borough.
It does nothing of the sort
The two questions it puts are:
- To what extent do you support or oppose the proposal that Durning Library will become the temporary town centre library?
- To what extent do you support or oppose the proposal that Tate South Library will offer reduced library provision and wider range of wellbeing activities with a healthy living centre?
It does not ask the simple and fundamental question – which of the two libraries do you think should be the town centre library?
The true aim of the ‘consultation’ is clearly to obtain the go-ahead to replace the library at Tate South Lambeth with a gym,and very restricted space for a ‘neighbourhood library’ in the form of a small range of books and a few computers, with no library staff at all on site.
Lambeth Council wants the Durning Library to be the ‘winner’ of a battle we do not want to fight. Neither library should be turned into a gym – and certainly not Tate South Lambeth, which currently gets almost three times the number of visits.
By the way…
The timing of the consultation (it ends on December 21) is evidently designed to enable Lambeth Council to close down this library at the end of this year, giving three clear months to install the Greenwich Leisure Services gym by April 2016.
Lambeth’s broken promises
The Culture 2020 report, agreed by the Council cabinet on October 12th and by the Council on November 18th, promised a “4 week consultation period … to help determine if Durning Library rather than Tate South Lambeth Library will provide a temporary fifth town centre library in the north of the borough until 2022”.
And Jane Edbrooke, the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods (and our own councillor), who has been fronting the Council’s campaign for its Culture 2020 proposals, has in public stated that the consultation would offer this choice.
So what should we do now?
Please fill in the consultation form in the only way that enables Tate South Lambeth users to say what they really want (as we suggest above).
And please continue to send your views to Jane Edbrooke and your other local councillors
Oval ward: Jane Edbrooke, Claire Holland, Jack Hopkins. Stockwell ward: Alex Bigham, Guilherme Rosa, Imogen Walker. Write to them at: Olive Morris House, 18 Brixton Hill, London SW2 1RD