Lambeth libraries go under hammer as council make ‘drastic’ cuts to balance books

Two Lambeth libraries are under threat as council austerity plans emerged last week to sell off both public institutions to property developers.

The proposition that the Minet library, home of the Lambeth archives, and Waterloo library will potentially no longer be council-owned has outraged Lambeth’s residents.

The sales, which have been presented as a potential £10million funding boost to securing libraries in the future, have left many in shock including the local Liberal Democrats.

Lambeth resident and Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman for Vauxhall, Adrian Trett, said: “Everybody knows we need to make tough choices to balance the books. But this is simply the wrong option from Labour Lambeth.

“Instead of selling off our libraries they should scale back their plans for a plush new Town Hall and endless propaganda.”

Labour Councillor Jane Edbrooke, Lambeth’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, re-iterated the need for a shake up in the council’s funding.

“We have to face the reality of these drastic cuts to our budget.

“Lambeth is blessed with a great range of stuff to do, fantastic cultural and social assets that include libraries but to secure their future, we have to be ambitious about how they’re run and how they could be better.

“Selling Minet and Waterloo libraries will give us a pot of money to support community libraries so this is an opportunity to be bold with ideas whether that’s going digital or sharing space to generate income.”

D-day for the campaign is Friday April 24 and until then both Friends of the Library groups and opposition parties will continue to campaign against Labour’s plans to sell the spaces to property developers.

Featured image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks

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