One way of throwing up a roadblock to the disposal of our library building -– which many of us suspect is Lambeth Council’s long-term intention – is to secure listing from the local authority as an Asset of Community Value.
On January 13th Friends of TSL won this listing for the Tate South Lambeth Library building ( as have the Friends of Carnegie Library for their building).
This means that if the Council wanted to sell the building over the next five years, we would be able to trigger a six month moratorium period, allowing us first refusal to buy the buildings at market rate. So this is a safeguard against any rapid move by Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) to buy the building off the Council.
It’s a breathing space- not a definitive solution – but welcome in the current situation.
Also welcome is the finding, by the inspection team from Lambeth Council, that TSL is of community value because it offers:
“A range of community activities that promote social wellbeing, community engagement to include the following:
- Regular school visits and lectures on local history.
- Visual impaired centre – linked to Guys and St Thomas ’s hospital trust – to provide reading facilities.
- Pioneer library for visually impaired and computers for disabled clients highly used by local residents.
- Over 55s and under 18s vulnerable adults support.
- Used by Portuguese residents.
- Chess club, film club, language clubs, knitting, CV workshop and more.”
All this is well known to users of Tate South Lambeth Library – although it seems to have escaped those who drew up the libraries policy in Culture 2020.