Mayor defers Library decisions

The Mayor of Lewisham has deferred a decision on the future of Lewisham's threatened libraries for two months, to allow proposals for alternative uses for the buildings to be properly evaluated. In a statement on his website, Mayor Bullock says:

After studying the results of our consultation on the proposl to close five libraries before attending the Council's Public Accounts Committee earlier this week, I wanted to share with you my thoughts regarding the current library proposals as they stand at the moment, what I said to Public Accounts and what I am minded to do next Wednesday at the Mayor and Cabinet.

I did not seek election as your Mayor in order to close down libraries. However the scale of the challenge and size of the cuts we are faced with due to decisions taken by this Tory/Lib Dem Government means that we are faced with very difficult choices in order to protect the most vulnerable in our community.

I believe in Libraries and the difference they can make which is why over £6.5 million has been spent in the last 4 years in providing 21st Century library facilities across Lewisham. The current proposals do not provide enough detail on the alternative community library proposals and on the transitional costs of moving to these alternatives. I am therefore minded next week to defer a decision on this proposal for up to two months to provide time for those proposals to be firmed up and to allow those who want to be involved to come forward and have further discussions with the council.

9 comments:

Matt-Z said...

Is this a glimmer of hope? Or delaying the inevitable?

Who writes these things anyway? "I am therefore minded next week to defer..." How does he know what he's going to be thinking next week? Or has he got hold of Catman's time machine

Anonymous said...

The Mayor has a track record of deferring controversial decisions, in particular when his officers leave the decision solely up to him.

If a scheme works it was his decision if it fails then it was based on advice from his officers.

In this case if his officers based their savings on the worse case scenario (40%) then there may be no reason to close any library?

If he did not get elected to close libraries why did he not campaign along the lines of refusing to close any library.

Over a year ago the Mayor asked officers to draw up savings, and from past experience he would have known the closure of libraries would be on the list.

Simon Cowell couldn't have managed this better...

a) It will seen as the mayor having carefully considered all options if they all close.

b) As a) if two close, but remaining popular in the winning wards.

c) A savoury (?) if all 5 remain, carried on high through the streets by the good people of Lewisham.

Anonymous said...

Aren't there some elves working on this budget who know what the Mayor will be minded to say and do next week...there is an ANON option.

Does the Mayor discuss with his cabinet beforehand what he is 'minded' to do.

How about his party would they be informed beforehand?

tracy said...

Staff at NX library were discussing their redundancy packages etc this morning ( not doing it soto voce) so they obviously see the writing on the wall.

Chapperstee said...

Sir Steve's comments were a bit C.J. when sunshine deserts has entered a slight financial wobble "I didn't get where I am today without knowing a slight wobble when I enter one."

Anonymous said...

I would say Blackheath Library would be top of my list to close or at least move to cheaper premises.

It's a no brainer.

Bookworm said...

Does anyone know what is happening with this now? I saw something in the paper about read-ins, but the Crofton Park library staff knew nothing about it. Also just saw a piece on Breakfast about community libraries - if this is to be the alternative I'd like to know more - I'd certainly very much want to volunteer rather than live in a world without libraries...

fabhat said...

There is supposed to be a read in at crofton park library on the 5th of feb 11-1pm (it's a national day of support for the libraries) Pass the details on to all you know...

Bookworm said...

Great, thanks - will do...

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