Posts Tagged ‘Lambeth Council’

Two events have been called at Minet Library at Myatt’s Park, this Saturday, National Libraries Day, in response to controversial plans by the council to shut Libraries.

Lambeth Council is planning to sell the Minet and Waterloo Libraries.  Funding will also be stopped for Durning, Carnegie and Upper Norwood Library. If community groups do not come forward to take over Durning, Carnegie and Upper Norwood Library, they too may face closure.

Ruth Cashman, Unison Representative for Lambeth Libraries commented;

“Library staff and our Library Friends Groups have been gearing up for a huge membership and publicity drive around National Libraries Day and now we find out the Council has announced plans which threaten half of the borough’s Libraries. Frankly, it’s a slap in the face to library staff, our Friends of Libraries Groups and the communities we serve. We now know exactly what the long-running and costly Cooperative Libraries project was, an attack on a comprehensive public library service across the borough. Labour was reelected boasting that it kept all our libraries open, where is that commitment to the service’s future now?”

Lambeth Council launched the Cooperative Libraries initiative as part of its Cooperative Council Plans. Outlining the plans for the Cooperative Libraries Project in November 2011, Councillor Steve Reed, then Leader of Lambeth Council said;

“I’m excited about the future for Lambeth’s libraries.  While other boroughs have been forced to close libraries thanks to Government funding cuts, thanks to Labour in Lambeth  our library service is now secure for the future.”

UNISON say they will work with the community to fight the Council’s proposals.

The Save Lambeth Libraries campaign have called an event called “Save Our Library Because…” at Minet Library, at 3pm on Saturday 7 February, World Libraries Day. This is followed by a candle lit vigil in Myatt’s Field Park to protest both Library cuts and 50% cuts to the Park, called by the Myatt’s Field Hub.

The Save Lambeth Libraries campaign have called on everyone unable to attend the events to tweet their support for their libraries. Their Facebook Page states

“We are asking people who cannot make it down to the events to tweet a photo to Jane Edbrooke, Cabinet member responsible for Libraries (@JaneEdbrooke) and your local MP with the hashtag ‪#‎SaveLibraries. If you do not have a twitter account, send the photo to us at Save Lambeth Libraries and we will send it out for you. ‬

  • Take a big piece of paper
  • Write “Save Our Libraries Because…” across the top
  • Fill in your reason – it can be something you’ve written, a quote or a picture
  • Send us a photo of yourself holding your “Save Our Libraries Because…” page, tweet it, post it…”

ENDS

Download pdf version: PRESS RELEASE Library Workers Accuse Council of Insult to National Libraries Day after Cuts and Closures Announcement

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Last Wednesday (29th) there was a protest outside Lambeth Town Hall in support of the Don’t Evict Maritza campaign. This protest was covered by the Brixton Blog and SWLondoner. Thanks to all who attended

Disability Advice Service

Posted: February 8, 2014 by lambethsaveourservices in Demonstrate, Rally & Occupy!
Tags: ,

Workers from the Disability Advice Service are being laid off and are lobbying Lambeth Council

Thursday 13th February
6:30pm, Lambeth Town Hall
Called by Lambeth TUC

Let us know you’re coming on facebook

Stop Asset Stripping
Lambeth Council are organising a Leader’s Question Time this Thursday 16th January. The Lambeth United Housing Cooperative will be there putting questions about the Don’t Evict Maritza campaign. We urge all our supporters to join them.

There’s two ways you can help

  • Join the demonstration outside the meeting. It’s at 6:30pm, outside Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre, 309 Streatham High Road, SW16 6HX. There’s a map here
  • Come inside the meeting (also at Streatham Leisure Centre) and offer support. If possible please reserve tickets here, but there may be tickets available on the night

This event replaces our regular planning meeting

40 year old communities
Lambeth Council is currently trying to evict Maritza from her “short life” housing cooperative where she’s lived for over 30 years. When she moved in her home was in a terrible state and it was her blood, sweat and tears that saved the home from demolition. Now the council want to hand her home to property developers

You can read more on Maritza’s case here

Lambeth Housing Activists have called a lobby of the council later this month. Lambeth SOS urges all our supporters to attend

Don’t Evict Maritza
Don’t let the Lambeth Council evict Maritza’s family from their Stockwell home
Demonstrate – 6pm – Wednesday 29th January – Lambeth Town Hall
Organised by Lambeth Housing Activists

You can download publicity here. Please also sign the petition, and forward it to all your friends.

We need to do lots of work to advertise this. Here’s how you can help:

  • Come to our stall on Saturday 11th January, 2pm, outside South Lambeth Library. Contact us to let us know if you’re coming
  • Come to our stall on Sunday 12th January, 2pm, outside Stockwell tube. Contact us to let us know if you’re coming
  • If you’re in a residents’ group or trade union ask them to come to the lobby. Contact us if you need any help
  • Download the publicity and forward it to all your friends

Community Not For SaleLambeth Housing Activists are organising a stall this weekend, asking people to sign a petition against Lambeth Council evicting people from their homes in the Lambeth United Housing Coop. Lambeth SOS has been proud to support the Lambeth United Housing Cooperative in campaigns last year,so we urge all our supporters who are free this Saturday to help out at the stall

Stall – Don’t Evict Maritza
Saturday 4th January, 11am – 1pm
Meet at the junction of Wandsworth Road and Lansdowne Way
Organised by Lambeth Housing Activists

You can download a leaflet giving background on the campaign here

If you can come please email Chris on chrisblake1977@yahoo.co.uk to say you can make it and give your phone number. This means if anything changes at short notice (e.g. the stall is cancelled because it’s raining) you can be kept informed.

Hope to see people on Saturday

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Want to help us support our local library service which is under threat from years of budget cuts? Take 5 mins right now. We need your help.

Step 1: Read the Manifesto below

Step 2: Like the  Lambeth Manifesto For Libraries on Facebook to show your support

Step 3Write to your local Councillor or MP online asking them to support the manifesto.
This takes no more than 5 minutes and is all done online. No stamp-licking required!

Step 4: Share it around friends/family/community groups/trade unions and ask them to do the same.

Step 5: Put our next planning meeting in your diary and help us build the campaign. Thursday 5th Dec, 6:30PM, Vida Walsh Centre, Brixton.

Lambeth Manifesto for Libraries

Lambeth citizens face unprecedented hardship through this period of austerity and in these times we believe more than ever we need access to information, literature and the digital world. The following is what we believe Lambeth’s public library service should provide (as outlined by Voices for the Library):

• A wide-ranging, quality book stock available to borrow without charge.

• Up-to-date ICT that is available to access free of charge and without restrictions, supplemented by support from trained staff.

• Access to e-books remotely and without charge.

• A wide-range of quality online services at no charge.

• A space free from commercial influence.

• Dedicated services for teens.

• A service managed and run by professionals.

• Volunteer opportunities but only as a support to paid staff, not as a substitute.

• Library buildings that provide a modern, welcoming space.

• A service owned by the public, not private companies or a sub-section of the community.

We note that, although Lambeth Council have invested in Library buildings, budgets to run Libraries have been slashed to the point where they can no longer provide the service Lambeth citizens need and deserve.

This manifesto asks local politicians to agree to the following when standing for election next May:

• A commitment to increase book stock to at least the average amount of books of other London authorities – Lambeth Libraries have only 50% of the average London borough book stock

• A commitment to increase staffing to at least the average amount of staff of other London authorities – Lambeth Libraries are proposing to reduce the staffing levels to the lowest in London

• A commitment to increase public IT access to at least the average amount of other London authorities – Lambeth Libraries have only 50% of the average London borough public IT provision

• A commitment to keep all nine public libraries open with no cuts to opening hours

Lambeth residents deserve a Library service equivalent to that provided for residents in neighboring London boroughs with adequate levels of staffing, digital access and books.

Ask your local politicians to commit to the Lambeth Manifesto for Libraries.

Contact: Lambeth Manifesto for Libraries c/o Lambeth UNISON 6a Acre Lane SW2 5SG, lambethsaveourservices@gmail.com

As well as having a protest outside the council meeting on 20th November we also sent a delegation inside. Pilgrim Tucker from Unite Community read the following statement. It was greeted with cheers from the public gallery and muted murmurs of approval from some councillors

My name is Pilgrim Tucker. I am the co-ordinator of Unite the Union Community membership in London. I am presenting this deputation with members of Unite Community in Lambeth and other housing activists on behalf of many local groups and individuals who are urging Lambeth Council to do more for their residents on the issue of social housing in the borough.

For some time now we have been working alongside tenants, residents and members of the community on the issue of decent, affordable homes for all. What we have found and continue to fight against is the anxiety, uncertainty and insecurity caused by the wretched bedroom tax and benefit caps brought in by this government.

These measures will hit thousands in our community. Across the borough tenants are living with the fear of homelessness because of rent arrears and the possibility of being uprooted from neighbourhoods where they may have lived all their lives.The council should act to prevent this insecurity, by reassuring the tenants that they will not be evicted due to the bedroom tax, and set an example to housing associations that are already starting legal proceedings against tenants.

To add to this council property and land is being sold to private developers leading to a reduction in social housing in the borough. Where new tenancies for social housing for tenants are proposed they include unaffordably high rents and shorter, more insecure tenancies.

The policy of ‘short life’ recall threatens people who have been in their homes since the 1970s. Pensioners are among these people who have maintained social housing that the council abandoned. These people were given categorical promises by their Labour councillors that their right to stay in their homes would be defended!

The council says it is using the proceeds from the sale of council owned land and void properties to refurbish existing council properties, but this is a short sighted approach. We need to stop the sale of existing council housing and go further – to start to build new social housing which is available at rents that ordinary local people can actually afford to pay.

Without such action we will see soaring rents and the destruction of secure tenancies for our communities, and risk the loss of the vibrant diverse population and culture for which Lambeth is rightly celebrated.

To have a decent home is a basic human need without which well-being and progress is not possible. With the increase in soup kitchens and homelessness in Lambeth we call upon this council to:

Make a public commitment that no legal action will be taken against tenants who are in arrears due to the the bedroom tax and benefit cuts.

Take no disciplinary action against staff that refuse to be involved with legal action and evictions against tenants.

Give tenancies to those currently occupying short life co-op housing in Lambeth.

Stop the transfer of council land and property to private developers.

Build 100% council homes at low rents with secure tenancies.

Pressure the government to abolish the bedroom tax, restore benefit cuts and undergo a massive, publicly owned house building programme to end this crisis.

Congratulations to the Lambeth United Housing Cooperative for getting this article in the Lambeth Weekender
Weekender on Shortlife

The protest outside the council meeting on 20th November was covered by the Brixton Blog and Brixton Buzz