The countdown to a possible downgrade of Manor House Library

cropped-DSCF1436.jpg1st October – 15th November 2015 Consultation period – make your views known by clicking here. 25th November 2015 Council Question Time:  here is another opportunity to make your views known.  Questions from the public are taken at the full Council meeting and as many as possible need to be submitted, on the basis of what you know, or what you think you know.  It will give the Council members an indication of public opinion.  The deadline for questions to be in is 10th November 2015. Send your question to kevin.flaherty@lewisham.gov.uk Include your address as the council needs to know you are a Lewisham resident. 30th November 2015 The Safer, Stronger Select Committee will consider the outcome of the consultation etc e-mail the Chair, Cllr Pauline Morrison: cllr_pauline.morrison@lewisham.gov.uk e-mail the Vice-Chair, Lee Green Ward’s Pat Raven:  cllr_pat.raven@lewisham.gov.uk 9th December 2015 Officers’ report goes to Mayor and Cabinet meeting for approval January 2016 – Partner organisations will be sought/tender (soft marketing already in progress) August 2016 – Implemention (subject to decision taken on 9/12/2015) And a word to the wise, please do not consider this a lost cause.  Do what you can from your lap-tops, smart phones, PCs, libraries’ PCs.  Put it out on blogs, websites, Twitter, Facebook etc etc.  You know the score!  Write a letter, even! Circulate the information to Lewisham residents, friends, families, local schools .. encourage everyone to make a response the council will see and hear. The fundamental base line of the library proposals is that there will still be a public library service in your building, on the basis of council trained volunteers, peripatetic visits from library staff based elsewhere and access to library stock.  How does the council propose to continue training a volunteer force, which will need to be replenished from time to time?  This is not cost free and there have been problems in “community” libraries with volunteers. With a reduced staff, and this is the main saving on the library budget, how does the library service think it will run 3 hub libraries for 85 hours per week, make peripatetic visits to 9 “community” libraries as well as continuing visits to schools, GPs’ surgeries and include the travelling time while running/driving/bussing around the borough?  And who pays the fares? Buildings maintenance and repair is another unsatisfactorily explained conundrum.  Forest Hill, Manor House and Torridon Road are listed buildings. One thing is clear, if we do nothing we will get nothing.  I write this on the back of a short sentence from Cllr Best (Cabinet member for Community Services) at last evening’s consultation meeting held in Sandhurst Road School. “The status quo is not an option.” Pat Richardson, Manor House Library Users’ Group

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