Lambeth Cabinet’s meeting on Monday 7 December looks set for a lobby by library campaigners with Friends of Lambeth Libraries considering applying for a judicial review hearing. The meeting is at 6.30pm at Lilian Baylis Technology School, 323 Kennington Lane SE11 5QY (5 mins from Vauxhall Tube).
Statement by Friends of Lambeth Libraries
Lambeth council faces a possible judicial review of its controversial
plans for libraries – just days after it suffered a decisive defeat in
another judicial review.
The issue was the consultation it imposed on residents of Cressingham
Gardens – judged in the High Court to be unlawful.
The lack of consultation is a major plank in the new libraries case.
Friends of Lambeth Libraries says: “Lambeth’s ‘culture2020’ proposals
were launched in January with a confusing and slanted consultation
“It then produced radically different plans which were rushed through
in just 10 days – with no consultation at all.
“Residents all over the borough are strongly opposed. They have signed
petitions in their thousands, and marched in their hundreds in the
rain. This self-styled ‘co-operative council’ is shown to be nothing
of the kind.”
The case is being brought by Public Interest Lawyers on behalf of a
Lambeth resident who depends on Carnegie Library – one of three
libraries condemned to be replaced by a fee-charging gym. It would
have a small collection of books and PCs – but no staff to help
The Claimant in this case is just one of hundreds of vulnerable people
who will lose vital services if Lambeth forces through its plan to gut
five of its ten thriving libraries.
Lambeth’s own culture2020 report admits there is no way to mitigate
the damage to a long list of people who depend on local libraries and
the help they get from staff.
This is another plank in the case against Lambeth.
The final – but vital – major point is Lambeth’s refusal to even
consider a viable bid from library managers to run all 10 libraries,
fully staffed, within the financial constraints set by Lambeth.
A similar refusal by another council has already been declared
unlawful in a previous judicial review.
Friends of Lambeth Libraries says: “We are being forced to go to law
because Lambeth refuses to listen. We have gone through all its
democratic processes, and been faced with the same blank wall every
“It is still open to Lambeth to re-think, and accept an alternative
that residents support.
“We very much hope it will do so.
“There is time, as its own plan is barely worked out – and many
serious questions remain unanswered.”
Details about what happens at Carnegie Library can be read here: