Situation Report:  The latest library restructure with proposed job cuts has just been announced. Under the council’s plans, 147 existing posts will be lost and 52 posts created in the new library structure. So 95 library jobs will be cut. Many of these jobs are part-time, but nonetheless essential to many library workers.

A protest will take place at the Full Council Budget Meeting on Wednesday 24 February -Location: Civic Suite from 6.30pm.

Torridon Road and Manor House libraries are under real threat from Lewisham Council budget cuts. Lewisham’s Mayor backed the decision by Lewisham library service to downgrade our local libraries, ignoring the many hundreds of local people who signed the petitions and took part in the Council’s own Libraries Consultation. The decision has been condemned by Chrissie Gittins, Lewisham’s offically appointed Writer- in- Residence.

Our libraries are due to be handed over to volunteers later this year, leaving Lewisham Central, Deptford and Downham as the only professionally-run libraries in a borough of almost 300,000 residents.
Lewisham is  rated the 32nd most deprived borough in England scoring highly on multiple indices of deprivation. The dismantling of a highly valued library service, saving just £1million, can only make access to learning  literature  harder for and children and young people.
 Ourhithergreen article: COMMUNITY LIBRARIES- THE BLACKHEATH STORY

The following article was posted on the Save Lewisham libraries campaign website over Valentine’s Day weekend.

WHAT’S NEXT? 
A lobby of the Full Council Budget Meeting on Wednesday 24 February – join us outside the Civic Suite from 6.30pm onwards. We will be asking councillors to make an amendment to the forthcoming budget, requesting £1m from the reserve budget to reverse the library cuts.

Bring placards, whistles, drums, pots and pans to protest!

No ifs, no buts, no more library cuts!

Lewisham Libraries are currently under threat. Lewisham Council has made a decision to cut £1 millionfrom the libraries budget.

The Council’s preferred option is to remove staff from 4 of our libraries:

Catford, Forest Hill, Manor House and Torridon Road.

The council hopes that these libraries will then be run by local volunteer organisations.

Unison, (the library staff’s trade union) believes that if these plans are implemented then:

  • Professional staff will not be available in these libraries
  • Opening times will be reduced
  • If there are not enough volunteers, then libraries will close
  • Library usage and services to the community will be reduced
  • Vulnerable users won’t be able to access library services

Save Lewisham Libraries urges you to FIGHT FOR LIBRARIES!

Please sign our petition, come to our meetings and protests and get involved with the campaign to save our library services from these cuts.