The latest on Manor House Library from Patricia Richardson (Secretary of the Users and Friends of Manor House Library)

DSCF1436There is “slippage” on the agenda. There was already “slippage”, but it has slipped further.  The summary of key dates allowed for some slippage as “Lewisham Council reserves the right to amend this timetable at its absolute discretion at any time during the tendering process.” (Feb. 2016)
 
Therefore the Community Interest Event (4/6/2016) did not take place, at very short notice, in spite of frequent queries.  It will also no longer be a Community Interest Event as the public is not invited.
 
It has been pointed out that this is a public service, paid for by public money, will affect the whole library service in Lewisham and is, therefore, of public concern.  So, the council has changed the title and hope to get away with just talking to stakeholders.  With the best will in the world, stakeholders do NOT represent all those with a vested interest in the Lewisham public library service.
 
The proposed stakeholder meeting is now called “Community Stakeholders Event.  The original CIE was postponed to allow for more bids.  The meeting will take place to produce an update on the bidding process, for the stakeholders!
 
Whether the “slippage” will have an effect on the hearings in July of the Safer Stronger Select Committee (4/7/2016) or the Business and Scrutiny Overview Committee or the Mayor and Cabinet’s decision-making meeting on 13/7/2016, remains to be seen.
 
As far as the Manor House Library is concerned we have heard that the GLL bid has been turned down.
 
We have learnt that the Mayor is not prepared to re-think the proposals.  He is serious about appropriate partners and thinks the process may go one library at a time.  Libraries will not close so a partner has to be found.As a result, Unison, and its library staff members, are considering further strike action as they realise they have no alternative.
 
The blight hanging over the library users, the staff and the public service in general are damaging.
 

 

 
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