Crofton Park Library breaks Labour's big tent

Yesterday, Brockley Central was tweeted by the Crofton Park Labour Party asking us to help promote their petition to save Crofton Park Library. We duly re-tweeted but asked why they couldn't simply have a word with their Labour Councillors, their Labour-led cabinet and their Labour mayor, whose decision it would be. They said:

"Councillors already on the case, want to show support from the community."

Shortly after that exchange, community supporters of Lewisham's libraries turned up at the Council cabinet meeting and called on Mayor Bullock to save them from closure. This resulted in the Mayor doing a "bigoted woman" as he was caught on microphone calling them “Fucking idiots”.

The News Shopper has the full story here.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

To be fair, he's right - libraries are increasingly becoming more expensive than they are useful. Sure, we all have nice memories of them - but this is 2010. We have teh intarwebz now.

Mb said...

Well yes, I think part of the argument is that they could be so much more. I'm a bit neutral in the issue at the mo.

max said...

Does that mean that Bullock called the two Labour Councillors for Crofton Park "Fucking Idiots" too?

spincat said...

Do you mean we don't need social space? That is part of the function of libraries. Another one of many functions is to make the wonders of the web available to those who can't access it at home.

People are very quick to pronounce about libraries who don't actually use them or have any idea just how busy and well used they are - or about all the different things they do nowadays.

Lou Baker said...

Go Mr Mayor. Or should that be Sir Mayor.

The morons who have zero comprehension of the financial mess we're in really deserve this kind of verbal abuse.

All we need now is for BoJo to call them a***holes and the PM to brand them irresponsible to**ers and things are complete.

TrixieDean said...

How much does Sir Mayor get paid? And that vote to have an elected mayor was ridiculous. Low turnout, narrow majority & a question many people found hard to understand.

Nux said...

@ Anon 17.17, Libreez giefs accez to teh Interwebz

Nux said...

While the realities of spending cuts are not to be underestimated, it is depressing to know that he is so utterly closed-minded to the idea that there could be a way to make CP library become more financially viable

mintness said...

That's the thing. The Bullocks and Bakers of this world won't even entertain the idea that there might be another way. What a desolate, joyless world they must live in.

Mezzer said...

Desolate, joyless and charmless. It seems to be a mantra for Bullock and his cohorts.

Iconic and historic buildings that are the heritage of this borough seemed to have been the focus of a slash and burn policy well before the current crisis. They are so much more vulnerable now.

Anonymous said...

Books schmooks.

THe purpose of a library nowadays is, and should be, to give internet access to those who don't have it at home.

Imagine the difference in life experience and scope of two teenagers, one with and one without internet?

drakefell debaser said...

History may refer to this as the idiotgate affair.

Anonymous said...

One would gain a strong wrist but deteriorating eyesight.

TJ said...

Labour majority, Labour mayor, Labour councillor - he can call us all exactly what he wants, can't he?

Barrie Hall said...

This is supposed to be a consultation period. 'Our Lewisham, Our Say' it's called. If you feel stongly get out there and shout about it. The proposed cuts represent only half of the £60 million that needs to be found over the next four years. It's very ominous - the council is also looking at how it can increase per head income from residents, as apparently Lewisham gets a smaller amount of income per capita than Southwark. Expect CPZs, more car clamping, £20 charges to replace stolen wheelie bins, etc. Look at the proposals in the Public Accounts Cttee. docs on Lewisham.gov. Instead of farming all of us, introduce a Tobin tax on financial transactions!

Anonymous said...

Does this mean Cllrs Addison & Morrison (and any other Labour councillors 'campaigning' against cuts) will be voting against Sir Steve's budget when he presents it to Council next March, if it includes the closure of Crofton Park library?

Anonymous said...

Won't it be like Joan Ruddick and Post Offices closures?

While campaigning to keep the one at New Cross open, voting for the legislation that would close Post Offices.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the Cabinet member for Communication earning his keep, ensuring the public are fully informed of The Mayor's every word.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Paul Maslin is the 'f'ing idiot only £2.75m cuts are because of the current government.

The other £60m of cuts is due to the previous government's monentry crisis.

Alistair Darling, Aug 2008:

The UK is facing its worst economic crisis in 60 years, Chancellor Alistair Darling has admitted.

He told the Guardian newspaper that the economic downturn would be more "profound and long-lasting" than most people had feared.

Anonymous said...

January 2010

The Prime Minister (Gordon Brown) recently promised £3bn of additional efficiency savings including a 20% cut in the cost of the senior civil service.

The Task Force, chaired by local government leaders, will urgently look at whether similar savings are achievable for local government.


John Denham has asked Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham and Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council to lead the Task Force with representatives from local government and unions.

barryls said...

Martha Lane Fox is spearheading a campaign for internet acces for all as the new Digital Champion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/rorycellanjones/2010/07/marthas_manifesto.html

Write to her and tell her internet access is being cut in Crofton Park

Anonymous said...

In a letter I have seen our Mayor was in discussion with the local communities minister about cuts in December 2009.

The Task Force will report in February so recommendations can be adopted by councils in their next budgets and feed in to the wider public sector senior pay review report due ahead of Budget 2010.

http://www.lgcplus.com/finance/efficiency/leese-and-bullock-head-task-force/5009967.article

One major idea is for Boroughs to share services from Chief Executives down.

Anonymous said...

Just found this from April about the Mayor's co-author of the Task Force report...

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese is cautioned by police after an allegation of assault....

Anonymous said...

Here's the number one thing our foul mouthed Mayor says in his report those 'f*cking idiots' should be aware of when making cuts....

1. Council services must be focused on the customer. They come first

You can read the other 9 steps to heaven and the full Task Force report here...

http://www.localleadership.gov.uk/totalplace/news/putting-the-frontline-first-meeting-the-local-government-challenge/

From the minister at the time....

“Local people will rightly be intolerant if they are told that front line services will be cut because their council hasn’t done everything suggested on this checklist.

If councils adopt our radical efficiency reforms they can protect our top priority frontline services which matter most to local people.”

Anonymous said...

Oi, you f*cking idiots this is the Mayor in Febuary...

What remains clear is that councils cannot continue with the status quo.

Our strong message in this report is that councils need to be taking action immediately.

Making these decisions now will make the difference in the coming months.


A reminder to councillors that's a LABOUR Mayor producing a report in February for a LABOUR government, 2-3 months prior to the general election.

If any councillor says the £60m cuts, closure of Libraries etc. is down to the current government...they are lying f*cking idiots.

lb said...

"If any councillor says the £60m cuts, closure of Libraries etc. is down to the current government...they are lying f*cking idiots"

Well, they're actually a direct result of the current government's announced programme of reductions. Where exactly the previous government's cuts would have fallen is something we may never know.

The previous government's "momentry crisis" (sic) as you put it was really more of a global financial crisis, but I'll let that one pass for the moment. What's really more of an issue is whether the deficit is a problem of the magnitude that the current government are making out (many economists think not) or if they're just using it as useful leverage in shrinking the state sector for largely ideological reasons.

Look at Eric Pickles' record in Bradford and the kind of people he's previously been associated with (Shirley Porter, Christopher Chope et al) and you'll get an idea of the kind of local government they want us to have.

Anonymous said...

@lb

Alistair Darling (previous government)declared in 2008 it would be the worst crisis for 60 years.

Our foul mouthed Mayor was contacted in 2009 regarding creating a Task Force based on councils could matching the cuts being proposed by the then government of at least 20%.

Way before the election our foul mouthed Mayor announced he was looking to make £60m worth of cuts.

So far he has only made cuts of £2.75m due to the current government.

The £60m cuts are the legacy of the previous government.

The reason we don't know what the previous government would cut is because they would not announce them, yet at the same time could announce new or increased spending with money that did not exist.

Anonymous said...

anon:1717 Libraries don't need to be expensive. It is important for the whole Borough that we keep them open even if it means using volunteer staff.

The mayor should apologise for his unnaceptable rudeness.

Anonymous said...

Labour Mayor???? He's acting like a Tory. We need to get rid of this Mayor ASAP!

Anonymous said...

People voted Labour as they were afraid of Tory cuts. Now they are getting Tory/Lib Dem cuts from the government plus here in Lewisham New Labour cuts.

The only alternative is vote Green and say no to the cuts!

Mezzer said...

Some good points always get weakened by posting as an Anon. Is it the same one person each time? Are all from different anons? You don't even have to give your own name.

Dreaming of said...

This is the mayor who was humbled to be re-elected? The one who says he listens?

Listens and then insults. The bully boy.

They need more creative minds to work out how to get these buildings making money for them. Are there spare rooms for meetings or to rent for office space. Break into the kids party circuit, classes, afterschool clubs, film sets.


Yes, on or off mic it says a lot about him. I'd have guessed as much.

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