Carnegie gets an "exhibition". But will there be consultation?
Like other local residents, I have received a notice from Lambeth Council, finally promising an "exhibition" about plans for the Carnegie. They no longer refer to it as "Carnegie Library".
It is not obvious whether this "exhibition" will address the main issues. Will it explain the plans for operating the library - staffing, hours, book stock? And will it explain when the building can be reopened? Nor is it obvious - especially given the choice of words - that there will be any consultation.
I wrote to Jim Dickson to ask him about exactly that. I haven't had a response yet. Maybe someone else will have more luck? If not, I for one intend to take these questions with me and ask them on the day.
Here's my letter to Jim:
Subject: Re: Carnegie Library
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:04:55
From: Alex Bicknell
To: Dickson,Jim Cllr <JDickson@lambeth.gov.uk>
I was pleased to see the letter today about the upcoming "exhibition" of plans for the library.
Will the exhibition provide details of the future library service? Book stock, opening hours, staffing hours and so on. Because without this it really won't be possible to respond to whether these are good plans or not.
I'm assuming there will also be a development timetable. Will this consider the idleness of the building when renovation work is not underway? There's no reason the library could not be reopened in the short term. What a signal of hope that would be! And if this is not the plan, I guess the exhibition need to explain why not?
What kind of feedback will you be seeking from us? What will be the structure for giving views? How will these be recorded? How will the results be published? I fear in the first instance the feedback will reflect local frustrations. But if the right questions are asked we could maybe transcend that, towards finding the middle ground most satisfactory to most people.
Maybe I'll see you there - or beforehand? If you would like any contribution from local residents to the process of consultation, I'd be keen to be part of that.