Friday, May 27, 2011

Last minute plan for New Cross Library?

Along with other Lewisham libraries scheduled for closure, New Cross library will be closing tomorrow. Unlike the others, Lewisham Council has not yet put in place a plan for another organisation to take it over.

I still haven't heard a convincing reason why this is the case - Eco Computer Systems put in a bid to run New Cross as well as Crofton Park, Sydenham and Grove Park libraries, and was considered fit to run the other three. The transfer of libraries in this way falls a long way short of a properly funded and staffed library service, but at least it keeps some kind of semi-public space going.

It's true that Deptford library isn't far away for the fit and mobile, but it's not in easy walking distance of New Cross for some older people, parents with young children or school parties. And Deptford library is a long way from the west end of New Cross, where let us not forget Lewisham were promising a new library on Briant Street - presumably that site will remain derelict for the foreseeable future, now that the housing that was there before has been demolished.

But there may be another plan (or two) for New Cross Library on the horizon. Seemingly last night there was a meeting at the Hill Station in Kitto Road of a New Cross People’s Library Steering Committee to try and put together a last minute bid to run the library. Anyone want to update us on what happened?

Update: this initiative seems to have grown out of the Save New Cross Library campaign. It seems to have the support of Telegraph Hill Labour Councillors among others.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it is a little bit ironic the Labour Councillors are throwing in their support - it's no secret that Lewisham Council have been seeking to privatise libraries for some time now - well before the coalition came into power - and they are now using the governments cutbacks to conceal this fact and hiding behind a 'we don't really want to do this' facade. Like the Parks services, Schools and Housing, they will seek privatisation at every available opportunity.