The following statement has been issued by the Friends of Tate South Lambeth (TSL) Library who are ‘furious to find a sham ‘consultation’ launched’ on 24 November ‘that makes it almost impossible for residents to say what they really want for their library.’
‘Ironically, it comes out on the very day that Lambeth suffered a humiliating defeat in the High Court – over the sham consultation it employed with residents of Cressingham Gardens!’
‘At TSL, the issue is whether TSL in Stockwell or the Durning Library in Kennington remains a ‘town centre library’ – that is, a library. The loser becomes a gym with a small range of books and a few computers, with no library staff at all on site. That is, NOT a library.
It is clear, from references in the ‘culture2020’ proposals, that
Lambeth has already made up its mind. Gym providers GLL want to use TSL – so TSL gets the gym.
If proof were needed – just see the new questionnaire.
The two questions it puts are:
- To what extent do you support or oppose the proposal that Durning Library will become the temporary town centre library?
- To what extent do you support or oppose the proposal that Tate South Library will offer reduced library provision and wider range of wellbeing activities with a healthy living centre?
It does not ask the simple and fundamental question – which of the two libraries do you think should be the town centre library?
The Friends say:
“Lambeth Council wants the Durning Library to be the ‘winner’ of a
battle we do not want to fight. Neither library should be turned into
a gym – and certainly not Tate South Lambeth!
“The Culture 2020 report, agreed by the Council cabinet on October
12th and by the Council on November 18th, promised a ‘4 week
consultation period … to help determine if Durning Library rather than Tate South Lambeth Library will provide a temporary fifth town centre library in the north of the borough until 2022’.
“And Jane Edbrooke, the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods (and our own councillor), who has been fronting the Council’s campaign for its Culture 2020 proposals, has in public stated that the consultation would offer this choice.
“The questionnaire does nothing of the sort.”
‘The Friends also wonder why Lambeth is in such a hurry to get the sham consultation done – in just four weeks, running into Christmas. The ‘right’ result would enable Lambeth to shut down TSL straight after Christmas..
Both TSL and Durning Friends met Jane Edbrooke and Lambeth officers earlier in November. They pointed out that the suggested questions were slanted, and made other suggestions aimed at making the consultation far more valid. All this was ignored.
One more irony – Stockwell councillors have just issued their “October 2015 Update” [sic] sheet. Cllrs Alex Bigham, Guilherme Rosa and Imogen Walker cheerfully promise “a new long-term future for TSL” – as a gym! They seem to know more about Lambeth’s real intentions than Lambeth council is prepared to admit…
How to beat the sham questionnaire.
The Friends say:
We must all give a response – otherwise only the Durning will remain
as a proper library.
We suggest that you:
(1) Answer questions 1 and 2, with “strongly oppose”.
(2) Write in the space below these questions: “This document does not give us the option of stating our strong preference for Tate South
Lambeth Library as the town centre library for the north.”’
tel: 020 7622 8673 or 07881 826732