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Closure of Waterloo Library

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Sunday 8 February 2015 10.12pm
"I can assure you that we do not hold anyone in contempt." Yet you blame the LibDem/Cons for this cut despite the ball being firmly in Lambeth's court; Labour have dominated Lambeth Council for years; time to take ownership of the problem. You forget the many attempts to close Waterloo library under Labour governments since 1997.

So please fight the developers; fight for the library to stay where it is or guarantee a NEW alternative with the same facilities and the same amount of space rather than take even more free open public space away by suggesting it moves back to WAC after umpteen years. Just because it started there it doesn't mean it has to go back there. And who would lose out at WAC if you squeeze the library in?

In your website you state that money raised from the sale - as if it's a done deal already - will go towards a 10m community library fund offering a 'library service'. That's an incredibly broad sweeping statement: what does that mean exactly?
Monday 9 February 2015 11.43am
Cllr Edbrooke says: "We know that library use in Waterloo is currently low despite a high street setting."

Library use is low because of the pitiful opening hours, if you work Monday to Friday you only have access to the library on a Saturday afternoon for three and a half hours - 1430 to 1800. The 'new model' he is proposing could be implemented now by extending the opening hours on Saturday and having at least one late night in the week. Brixton, Streatham etc open all day on Saturday and have late closings in the week.

The sad fact is now Lower Marsh has gone smart they want the money
Monday 9 February 2015 8.11pm
I tried completing the 'consultation' - what a disingenuous fraud! Read it closely. Two libraries to close this year, three to close next year and they can all 'bid' for an amount of money put aside for 'literacy'. Do you really think this money is ever going to be used for a proper professionally run library? Brixton library will be massively reduced (Archives to move in owing to the closure of Minet library) while the library in Cllr Edbrooke's ward will be expanded! West Norwood was promised a library, the same size as the one that closed 5 years ago, paid for by Picturehouse cinema. Now this has been reneged on and the library is to be a vastly reduced size and possibly looked after by a cinema usher on less than the Living wage 'because the finances don't work for Picturehouse'. Lambeth have broken every promise on Libraries. Steve Reed, the last council leader said that the Labour party were proud that they hadn't closed any libraries - what now is the opposite of proud - ashamed? Local councillors should demand THEIR party stops this closure programme now.
Zoe
Monday 9 February 2015 10.01pm
There is a meeting at 6.30pm on Wednesday 11th February at Waterloo library to discuss the plan to close it. Please come if you can make it.
Tuesday 10 February 2015 12.42am
Lambeth's Labour Councillors keep saying the proposed closure of Waterloo Library is because of Government cuts to Lambeth funding.

So why is Lambeth squirelling massive amounts of money away in its balances and reserves ? For a rainy day ?

Lambeth has now built up an enormous 268 in USABLE reserves.

Perversely, Labour's last budget in March 2014 saw Lambeth transfer an EXTRA 26 million into the Council's reserves, increasing the usable reserves from 242m in 2013/14 to 268m in 2014/15.

Details are contained in the Council's statement of Accounts - see page 59, note 30 for the latest figures:

http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Lambeth%20Statement%20of%20Accounts%202013-14.pdf

I should declare an interest as an ex-librarian, and a former Liberal Democrat Councillor in Lambeth from 1990 to 2010. However the figures do speak for themselves

Julian Heather

Usable reserves up from 242m to 268m.
Tuesday 10 February 2015 12.42am
Lambeth's Labour Councillors keep saying the proposed closure of Waterloo is because of Government cuts to Lambeth funding.

So why is Lambeth squirelling money away in its balances and reserves ? For a rainy day ?

Lambeth now has an enormous 268 massive in USABLE reserves.

Perversely, Labour's last budget in March 2014 saw Lambeth transfer an EXTRA 26 million into the Council's reserves, increasing the usable reserves from from 242 million in 2013/14 to 268 million in 2014/15.

Details are contained in the Council's statement of Accounts - see page 59, note 30 - for the latest figures:

http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Lambeth%20Statement%20of%20Accounts%202013-14.pdf

I should declare an interest as an ex-librarian, and a former Liberal Democrat Councillor from 1990 to 2010. However the figures do speak for themselves

Julian Heather


Up from 242m to 268m.
Tuesday 10 February 2015 9.49pm
I don't want to let Lambeth Council officers and Lambeth Labour Party off the hook for the peremptory way they have announced these cuts, but surely there has to be a sustainable solution that involves moving library services back into the Waterloo Action Centre building so long as the WAC charity gets some cash to offset the opportunity cost of lost letting opportunities.
Zoe
Wednesday 11 February 2015 7.47am
A library in WAC would be small and I strongly suspect the council will expect volunteers to run it. It also even more proves that this is about selling the land. But why not build a library with flats on top. It's been done elsewhere.
Thursday 12 February 2015 10.02am
Short film by Ed Webb-Ingall



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Monday 16 February 2015 2.48pm
On Friday I submitted an FoI request for the options appraisal carried out a couple of years ago re. Waterloo Library.

Today, Lambeth has voluntarily published the document on its website:

http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/waterloo-library-options-appraisal-july-2013.pdf

(Thank you, John Kerridge)

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