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.