Is Lambeth Archives under threat?

Lambeth Council is proposing to sell the Minet Library building where Lambeth Archives is housed. The consultation statement issued by the Council does not mention what the future of the Archives will be.

This issue is not just one of concern to people in Lambeth but also in Wandsworth given the districts of Clapham and Streatham were in Wandsworth up to 50 years ago when the new London Boroughs were formed. The archives contain a lot of material relevant to pre-1965 Wandsworth.

The Council statement

Cultural Services by 2020

Later today we’re launching a wide ranging consultation on the future of cultural services in Lambeth – Cultural Services by 2020. We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to express their opinion on their local park, library, sports facilities and the arts.

We all know that being active, meeting people, watching a play or listening to music is good for us. It makes us happier and healthier so it’s important that people in Lambeth have access to affordable, varied activities.

As you know, the council is facing unprecedented cuts to its core funding and has to save £90 million by 2018 – this means we’re going to have just over half what we had in the budget for cultural services in 2013-14. With a population expected to increase by more than 30,000 in the next 10 years as well we want to use some of our assets now to have more money to invest more widely for the future.

So, we’re proposing significant changes to how cultural services are provided in Lambeth, including:

  • Libraries: We’re proposing to sell Waterloo and Minet libraries and use the money to help create a £10million endowment fund for the culture and library services. This could mean five town centre libraries, four community libraries and other lending services (such as The Railway Tearoom Library in Streatham Vale)  across the borough and the money to invest in and look after them.
  • Parks and events: We want to be more ambitious around generating income in our parks and we’re consulting on proposed events strategy to bring a cultural festival to Lambeth, hold more events across the whole borough and bring our noise levels for events into line with the majority of London.
  • Sports: We propose to renegotiate the current leisure contract in 2017 to provide better value for money and use the surplus income from the leisure contract to fund preventative activities to tackle the impact of ill health.  Working alongside our contracted leisure, sports and physical activity providers, we are also proposing to establish a Sport Innovation Fund, that would provide access to facilities at reduced rates for Lambeth based community-led sport clubs and self-help groups.

We’ve had thousands of conversations with local people over the last few years and these have all helped shape the proposals we’re putting forward today. We want to continue to work with residents to make sure we find the best solutions to the challenges we face.

How to have your say

You can find the overview booklet, all documentation and a questionnaire online at www.lambeth.gov.uk/culture2020consultation  (and in all Lambeth libraries). The consultation will close at midnight on Friday 24 April 2015.

You can also:

  • A range of events will also be held across the borough – sign up to the Love Lambeth enewsletter to make sure you hear about these.
  • Visit love.lambeth.gov.uk/culture2020 to find out more about what’s already happening in parks, libraries and sports, tell us what you like, what you need and what you’re doing.

Please circulate this information to all your networks so we can make sure we’re involving as many people as possible in this important conversation. If you have any queries about the consultation or difficulty accessing any information please contact culture2020@lambeth.gov.uk

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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3 Responses to Is Lambeth Archives under threat?

  1. Laura Swaffield says:

    Lambeth’s excellent archives are just about the only part of the service that is NOT under threat. They are to be moved from the Minet, where space is very cramped & conservation standards very poor, to somewhere better & much easier to get to. Not known where yet. But this does leave the attractive Minet building – in a deprived area – very vulnerable. The plans overall represent a big dent in a service which was already barely adequate for a large area with high deprivation. So – plenty to fight without being distracted by the archives issue.

  2. At the moment the Council document simply states on page 25:

    ‘following a feasibility study, may propose moving the borough archives from Minet Library to Brixton Library.’

  3. Pingback: Lambeth’s Future of Cultural Services consultation meetings | History & Social Action News and Events

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