Tuesday, 28 June 2016


Lewisham March for Libraries 21st May
Lobby the Mayor 13th July and help save Lewisham Library services.
Posted by Save Lewisham Libraries on Tuesday, 21 June 2016
SATURDAY 2ND JULY 12noon-1pm Clocktower, Lewisham 
AND under the black cat in Catford.

We will be leafleting to publicise the Lobby of the Mayor & Cabinet on 13th July 2016 and full Council meeting on 20th July 2016.

Please join us if you can and help save our Library Services.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

COUNCIL PUSH ON AS PROCESS FALTERS

Lewisham Council's 4th June community showcase event - a chance to meet bidders for the planned 'community' libraries - was cancelled, leading to suspicions that maybe there were no bidders. Or not enough to go round at any rate. Was the Council's schedule slipping, or even falling apart?

 In fact, a local Forest Hill community bid has gone in for Forest Hill Library, but what about the other two? We've now learnt that there is no bidder left in the running for Manor House Library, so the whole tender process is to be re-run. Furthermore, there is no formal or completed bid in for Torridon Road Library either, just a letter of intent from local community groups. Apparently, the Council wants to go ahead in September with changing how Torridon Road is run, even without the kinds of information and guarantees that you would expect from such a momentous move. How would it be staffed? Will it be a proper library? What level of long term financial security can be projected if the idea isn't fully worked through yet? Is there even a costed business plan? The process has clearly not gone as planned, and we are left with more questions than ever. Watch this space.

We need to make sure our Council is held to account when public money and public services are at stake. On the 4th July the Stronger Safer Communities Select Committee meets to agree on what's suggested for these libraries. It's open to the public and so there's a chance to put your views. Questions can also be put in advance to the Mayor and Cabinet meeting on the 13th.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016


Lewisham March for Libraries 21st May
Lobby the Mayor 13th July and help save Lewisham Library services.
Posted by Save Lewisham Libraries on Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Save Lewisham Libraries Stall - 25 June

12noon-1pm Clocktower, Lewisham 
AND under the black cat in Catford.

We will be leafleting to publicise the Lobby of the Mayor & Cabinet on 13th July 2016 and full Council meeting on 20th July 2016.

Please join us if you can and help save our Library Services.

Monday, 13 June 2016

ORGANISING MEETING - THURSDAY 16 JUNE

Our next campaign meeting:

7pm Thursday 16 June 2016

Catford Constitutional Club
Catford Broadway SE6 4SP

All welcome. Come along and get involved!


Friday, 3 June 2016

4 JUNE 2016 Community Event Postponed by Council

Save Lewisham Libraries campaign was due to lobby the council at an event this Saturday 4 June at the Town Hall. The event was for the public to view the council's plans for four Lewisham libraries - including tenders from interested parties.  

The event was postponed at very short notice and it is unclear when we will have the opportunity to scrutinise their plans. The public needs concrete information to know exactly what will happen to its library service, to have confidence in accountability, provision of public services and the outcomes of public spending i.e. our money.

We will keep you posted...

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

This is not a Swan Song!


Thank you to everyone who came along to the Save Lewisham Libraries Benefit Gig on Saturday night at the Old Tiger's Head in Lee.
A great night out!

Special thanks to musicians:

Rubber Johnny
Russell Bailey
Lost Chords

DJ Senor Sinistra
Speaker Jonathan Moore

HUNDREDS MARCH to Save Lewisham Libraries


The march on Saturday 21 May was a great success.  Hundreds attended the march and rally at the Town Hall in Catford.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-36350323

A huge thank you to everyone who attended, including speakers Chrissie Gittins, Alan Wylie, Tim O'Dell, Carnegie library occupiers, Unison representatives and striking Lewisham library workers. The march was also supported by representatives from Defend the Ten, Lambeth Libraries campaign, Barnet Libraries and The Feminist Library - all under threat.

Lewisham library workers were also out on strike.  Members of the public expressed their support for the march and strike with toots of horns, signing our campaign petition and spontaneously marching with us.





Restore Our Library Service

Lewisham's libraries are a well loved and much used service, especially depended on by children.

It is upsetting then, that our libraries have been put through the wringer, and to show for it, issue numbers have fallen more than almost anywhere else in the country in the last five years. Lewisham Council has executed on its misbeggoten decision to cut £1 million from the budget, making most staff redundant whilst outsourcing operations to social enterprises and charities on decades long leases and contracts. And disgustingly, council advances this as an innovative 'opportunity'. It has also been pushing the money under the rug, as outsourced groups who run into cash flow problems are given large council grants, and this is now par for the course.

The Council removed staff from 4 of our libraries in 2016:

Catford, Forest Hill, Manor House and Torridon Road.

Despite the massive public opposition and the first council staff strikes here in decades, they pushed the changes through. This is not forgotten or over. This must be rectified.

Unison was right to believe that the implementation of the scheme would mean:

  • Professional staff will not be available in these libraries
  • Opening times will be reduced
  • If there are not enough volunteers, then libraries will close
  • Library usage and services to the community will be reduced
  • Vulnerable users won’t be able to access library services

They can no longer rightly be called libraries but pale imitations, community centres, thinly veiled property development operations that make a show of meeting a few basic library service functions and relying on volunteers. They stretch the remaining council staff dangerously thin, perhaps popping in to Pepys library once a week to mourn the chaos. Having made these idiotic redundancies so drastically management have had to take on agency staff. They've even trained up at cost new staff, who have handed in their resignation finding the conditions intolerable.

It has left us left three "hub" libraries still very basically council staffed, Lewisham, Deptford Lounge and Downham. Catford often has nobody but the security guards that work in the building, you can't print and can never expect to be able to print, and it is unsafe and unreliable.

In a borough this size it no longer meets our statutory right to a local, accessible, convenient library service.

These hub libraries are under threat of more unsubtle restructures by Bullock and head of the service Anthonio 'they changed my title so I'd have no chance of being sued' Rizzo. We campaign by all our legitimate means, from our right to public assembly, to arguing in surgeries and consultations, to looking into the published books of tender candidates to see what the council turns a blind eye to.

We have perhaps decreased the damange and slowed it down, but council generally has its head in the sand, and the tory government that goes without saying.

In this misinformation, privatisation age libraries are for their users desperately important.

Save Lewisham Libraries urges you to FIGHT FOR LIBRARIES!

Please sign our petition, come to our meetings and developing protests and get involved.