Controversy over Carnegie Library Plans
Opposition is growing to Lambeth Council's plans to hand over the Carnegie and two other libraries to Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) to operate as gyms. On Saturday 7th several hundred people marched in Brixton to show their opposition to these incoherent proposals, and on Tuesday 10th library supporters packed the 'Overview and Scrutiny' meeting which debated the plans (pictured) - the plans were narrowly approved, but several Labour councillors voted against them. Even Herne Hill Councillor Jim Dickson, a Cabinet member who originally voted for the plans, is now opposing the gym idea for the Carnegie.
At the scrutiny meeting, it was emphasised that libraries provide a wide range of social, health, and educational services that cannot be replaced by piecemeal provision. Libraries need to be professionally staffed and resourced - the Council plans to stop funding staff at the Carnegie, and to restrict book space possibly to a single room. Library campaigners are continuing to work to overturn the Council's plans, and there will be a public campaign meeting on Monday 16th at the Carnegie Library (6.30pm for 7pm) to discuss the next steps.