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Labour peer urges Lambeth Council to save Waterloo Library

A Labour member of the House of Lords has urged Lambeth's Labour council to rethink plans to shut Waterloo Library in Lower Marsh by the end of March.

Last week Lambeth library staff voted to take strike action in protest against the council's controversial 'Culture 2020' plans for the borough's library service.

Now a Labour peer has added her voice to the debate.

"I have just moved into the Waterloo area and am so impressed by the constant use of my new excellent local library, with its IT facilities, clearly very much needed, its good collection of local books and its helpful staff," said Baroness Whitaker.

"In my view it would be very damaging to the neighbourhood of Lower Marsh, the local vibrant shopping street, for it to be deprived of its library.

"Its site is easily accessible and it adds a lot to the street.

"All I hear from local people is how they value it as part of the Lower Marsh Community.

"I do urge Lambeth Council to keep it where it is."

Under plans approved by the council's cabinet last year, Waterloo Library is due to close in a matter of weeks with a temporary replacement library to be provided at the Oasis Centre in Kennington Road.

Meanwhile Cllr Jane Edbrooke, the cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said this week that a plan by Susanna Barnes. Lambeth's own library service manager, to create a staff mutual to run all 10 borough libraries including Waterloo, had now been formally submitted and "will be considered carefully".

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