Carnegie Asset Transfer Announced
Lambeth Council has announced the transfer of Carnegie Library to the "Carnegie Community Trust" (CCT), a small group of 5 trustees which Lambeth originally initiated in 2012. The CCT's plans for the library have not been published or discussed with the community. In contrast, the other bidder, the CLA (Carnegie Library Association), has published its plans to re-establish the library and community facilities, has engaged widely with the community, and has an elected and diverse board, which includes representatives of library user groups.
The assessment by Lambeth evaluated both groups as being similar in their capabilities, however the CCT were preferred mainly because of the "degree of ambition" of their plans - apparently including £5 million of work redeveloping the building.
The Carnegie has been closed since March 2016. Local residents are now facing 7 months of disruption and noise due to the excavation of the Carnegie basement for a gym. A meeting with local councillors last week showed that residents are still strongly opposed to the gym plans and dissatisfied with the lack of consultation that has taken place. The transfer to the CCT raises the prospect of further major building work and further closures of the library.
Regarding the library service, the assessment confirmed that this will be reduced to a "neighbourhood library service ... staffed for approximately 2 hours per day ... self-service facilities providing residents with access to a limited supply of books".
The assessment can be seen at www.carnegielibraryassociation.org/carnegieAT.PDF