Sydenham Library

The place for serious discussion, announcements and breaking news about Sydenham

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bensonby
Posts: 1650
Joined: 18 Jun 2008 12:28
Location: Kent

Sydenham Library

Post by bensonby »

As we've been told Sydenham Library is under threat and surely it's something local people must fight to save.

However, if the worst happened then what would need to be done to take it over as a community concern? - perhaps as a charity - run by volunteers?

Would it be achievable? I'm sure there are plenty of local people who would be willing and able to give up a few hours a week each to keep it running - providing at least some level of service? Would The Council be open to such an idea or would they want to slash and burn - selling off all the assets?

Has anything like this been done before locally?

thoughts?

mummycat
Posts: 576
Joined: 8 May 2007 12:10
Location: not se26

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by mummycat »

There is a Communty Action Lewisham meeting tonight at 7:30pm in The Amersham Arms in New Cross, if anybody would like to attend to discuss the closures with others in Lewisham:

http://www.projectdirt.com/events/commu ... n-lewisham

Bram
Posts: 44
Joined: 19 May 2008 12:30
Location: SE26

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by Bram »

Communty Action Lewisham blog roll:
Links
(Former) Socialist Party Councillors Ian Page and Chris Flood
Action 4 Lewisham
Community Action Network
Food Not Bombs Bexley, Lewisham and Dartford
Hands Off Lewisham Bridge Primary School
Haringey Solidarity Group
LCAP
Lewisham Anti Racist Action Group
Lewisham People Before Profit
maxink
Radical London
Save Catford
The Brockley Cross Action Group
The Commune
The Other Campaign
Wards Corner Community Coalition
Whitechapel Anarchist Group
Enjoy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrkwgTBrW78

mummycat
Posts: 576
Joined: 8 May 2007 12:10
Location: not se26

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by mummycat »

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Last edited by mummycat on 18 Jul 2011 16:47, edited 1 time in total.

mummycat
Posts: 576
Joined: 8 May 2007 12:10
Location: not se26

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by mummycat »

...and if anyone's free on Wednesday:

http://homepages.gold.ac.uk/ucu/flyers/CutsLobby.pdf

:lol:

spanishsydenhamgirl
Posts: 10
Joined: 4 Mar 2010 23:32
Location: sydenham

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by spanishsydenhamgirl »

I've heard from Lewisham Council that there will be a public meeting to discuss Sydenham Library on Thursday 19 August at 7 pm at the Grove Centre, Jews Walk.

Paddy Pantsdown
Posts: 204
Joined: 1 Oct 2004 10:04
Location: Venner Road

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by Paddy Pantsdown »

spanishsydenhamgirl wrote:I've heard from Lewisham Council that there will be a public meeting to discuss Sydenham Library on Thursday 19 August at 7 pm at the Grove Centre, Jews Walk.
Aha. That will be handy for the people who use Forest Hill Library. Surely it should be held in its catchment area. Perhaps the Library itself?

PP

spanishsydenhamgirl
Posts: 10
Joined: 4 Mar 2010 23:32
Location: sydenham

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by spanishsydenhamgirl »

Paddy Pantsdown wrote:Surely it should be held in its catchment area.
The Grove Centre is in Sydenham Ward and so is Sydenham Library - they are in the same cachment area. It's probably gonna be held there because it's one of the larger and better equipped community centres in the ward?

simon
Posts: 931
Joined: 11 Oct 2006 15:35
Location: Longton Avenue

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by simon »

Just to let you know that we will have Tim Parkin, UNISON shop steward for Lewisham Library service on Sydenham Community Radio 106.8FM on Tuesday night between 7-8pm to talk about the campaign to save the library.
More details to follow on the sticky but feel free to e-mail with any questions or comments.

Image

Karen Jonason
Posts: 2
Joined: 23 Jul 2010 07:09
Location: SE4

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by Karen Jonason »

I set up an on-line petition to save Crofton Park Library: http://ipetitions.com/petition/savecroftonparklibrary/
New Cross has done the same. I also set up a Facebook page Save Crofton Park Library from closure and hae a paper petition in many local shops. Is anyone going to do the same for Sydenham? It would be a good idea to campaign together.

mummycat
Posts: 576
Joined: 8 May 2007 12:10
Location: not se26

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by mummycat »

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Last edited by mummycat on 18 Jul 2011 15:08, edited 1 time in total.

leenewham
Posts: 5886
Joined: 2 Sep 2007 11:58
Location: SYDENHAM
Contact:

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by leenewham »

I agree MC.

Sydnee
Posts: 2
Joined: 17 Jul 2010 13:45
Location: Lower Sydenham

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by Sydnee »

Lewisham Council will argue that the repair bill for Sydenham Library will cost too much and that they will then be 'forced' to close the library down or relocate somewhere else. That building is a Carnegie building, in other words a purpose built library that may have been listed at one stage? Are we to let this current crop of decision makers close down a building that has served our community well for over a hundred years? I think we should go to that meeting in August and raise bloody hell!

olatunde
Posts: 10
Joined: 17 Jul 2010 22:33
Location: sydenham

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by olatunde »

i think at one stage the library was a listed building.
if memory serves it got removed the same time lewsham move the main entrance to the park.
why they moved that entrance i will never know
its a long time ago and i can't remember the full facts behind it.

I don't think moving the library is going to be the answer you would just end up in a small shop somewhere.
i think that library should stay where it is, in 5 years since the last time it was saved from closing down lewisham have done nothing to that building not even a coat of paint or repair the leaking roof.
out of all the libraries on the mayor's list i can see sydenham closing down as he will say you have catford and foresthill only a bus away.
none of this is set in stone till sir steve tells us in november what he is going to do,

mummycat
Posts: 576
Joined: 8 May 2007 12:10
Location: not se26

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by mummycat »

k
Last edited by mummycat on 18 Jul 2011 16:29, edited 1 time in total.

Karen Jonason
Posts: 2
Joined: 23 Jul 2010 07:09
Location: SE4

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by Karen Jonason »

The Crofton Park campaign is well under way, with, as of 9th August, over 1200 petition signatures, 450 e-petition signatures and about 215 Facebook friends. The public meeting is 23rd August, 7pm at St Saviours Hall, Brockley Rd. I don't think supporters of Sydenham library should wait for their local meeting before starting a petition or any other action. To get supporters to the meeting needs mobilisation

Big Ben
Posts: 202
Joined: 2 Oct 2004 18:19
Location: sydenham

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by Big Ben »

The meeting to discuss the future of Sydenham Library is this Thursday (August 19th) at 7pm at the Grove Centre, Jews Walk. It is to be hoped that councillors from Bellingham and Perry Vale (as well as Sydenham) will be there to answer questions from the public and library-users. While the library is in Sydenham ward, it is very close to both Bellingham and Perry Vale and is heavily used by primary schools in all 3 wards.

Pat Trembath
Posts: 613
Joined: 2 Oct 2004 10:54

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by Pat Trembath »

Just "bumping" up this to remind everyone.

PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS THE THREATENED CLOSURE OF SYDENHAM LIBRARY IS TONIGHT AT THE GROVE CENTRE, JEWS WALK, AT 7 PM

stuart
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Location: Lawrie Park
Contact:

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by stuart »

Can you post a report Pat (or anybody else who was there).

Stuart

simon
Posts: 931
Joined: 11 Oct 2006 15:35
Location: Longton Avenue

Re: Sydenham Library

Post by simon »

As I remember it:

A packed Grove Centre first heard from Steve Gough,, Director of Programme Management & Property, who explained that the library needed £250,000 spent on the fabric of the building, a figure hotly disputed later. He then handed over to Aileen Buckton, Executive Director Community Services, who said that Lewisham was looking to cut 25% from the Library Service budget and was looking to close 5 of the Borough's libraries. Sydenham was on the list because, unlike many other libraries in the borough, it had not had any money spent on it recently.

It was emphasised that Sydenham was well used and that it was not footfall that was an issue but simply costs that led to the decision to recommend closure.

The floor was then opened for questions, of which there were many.

The cost of repair was immediately questioned. Annabel MacClaren of the Sydenham Society pointed out the Council had initially quoted the cost refurbishing the Naborhood Centre at £20,000 but Syd Soc had obtained quotes for £5,000. Fairlawn Park resident Julia Webb questioned why disabled access was needed for the first floor that wasn’t actually in use. Later people suggested that refurbishment of the building could wait a couple of years until the economic situation improved. Buckton conceded “we could limp on”.

Anthony Scully of the Friends of Home Park said that the library was central to the regeneration of what was a deprived area. He pointed out that the local community had put a lot of effort into the community garden, obtaining funding for new play equipment, an outdoor gym and outdoor classroom.

Somebody else noted that the Carnegie Foundation had sited the library in Lower Sydenham because it was in a deprived area in 1904 and it was still deprived. Buckton said she didn’t have social depravation data for the area, only the ward of Sydenham as a whole. However, someone in the audience did and said it was the poorest neighbourhood in the borough.

There was concern that only Sydenham residents had been invited to the meeting when the library was also used by residents of Bellingham and Perry Vale. People also queried why the meeting was held in the school holidays when four local schools used the library.

There was a growing feeling that Lower Sydenham was being discriminated against as Mayo and Wells Parks had received regeneration funding while the library was being closed because it had been neglected.

Towards the end of the meeting it all got a bit political. Labour Councillors Hall from Bellingham and Curran from Sydenham said they would oppose closure. However, Chris Best would not commit and refused to repeat her pledge of October 2005 when the Library was similarly threatened, that she would “advise the mayor not to close the library as it is a valuable community resource.” Even the Tories got in on the act with Ross Archer suggesting the Council cut its PR budget instead.

In summary, then; opposition was almost unanimous and any ideas of “community asset transfer” were not mentioned. I should imagine that councillors and officers were surprised at the vehemence of the opposition. It was interesting to me that the opposition was drawn from all sections of the community; these weren’t the “usual suspects” or seasoned community activists but genuinely concerned residents horrified at the prospect of losing such a valuable community resource.

After the meeting some people repaired to the Windmill where they had hoped to organise a campaign. However, loud music made discussion almost impossible and it was agreed to meet somewhere quieter soon. A petition is in circulation and a campaign will build towards November 17th when the mayor makes his decision. People are urged to contact him directly.

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