Despite a long and determined campaign by local people, library  staff and unions, Lewisham’s Labour Mayor and Councillors pushed through their decision to divest itself of another four local libraries as part of a slew of budget cuts. The Borough of Lewisham now has only has three libraries staffed by professional  librarians.

How does this affect us in Hither Green? Torridon Road Library and Manor House Library are being transferred to community organisations.

A Messy Start: The Corbett Residents Association were asked to step forward to rescue Torridon Library after the Council’s original deal with the Greenwich based GLL fell through.

This week the CRA has issued its first volunteer appeal- please see below.

The experiences of other libraries transferred to the community at Blackheath and Sydenham suggest that the scramble  for volunteers and resources to keep both the building open and a reliable  service running is both exhausting and never ending. Moreover, official Lewisham figures monitoring foot fall show that after transfer, book lending rates and school visits plummet.

Torridon Road Library

Dear Corbett residents, as you will know, due to cuts in their budget, Lewisham Council are no longer able to support Torridon Library.

The Corbett Residents’ Association and Archibald Corbett Society will work together to ensure the Library’s continued running and develop it into a community resource. Mayor & Cabinet have approved the CRA/ACS bid to do this. Please clink link

Corbett Library Team’s proposal

Develop Torridon Library into a community hub providing a library service; local business work space; IT inclusion/training programmes; education programmes; history & heritage centre; cultural events; community cafe & more.

What you can do to help

  • Donate some time to maintain day-to-day running
  • Donate professional support

If you think you can help in any way – however small – please let us know

Mekor Newman, Corbett Library Team

Please contact Mekor Newman – 07970 941 448



 Does Lewisham Still Need Libraries?

Figures from London’s Poverty Profile

Key points

  • Lewisham does relatively poorly on education indicators. 44% of 19 year olds have no qualifications, the third highest of any London borough. 63% of pupils receiving free school meals do not get five good GCSEs (5 A*-C grades, including English and maths), compared to a London average of 54%.
  • Nearly 12% of the Lewisham working-age population are in receipt of an out-of-work benefit, the 4th highest in London. This has fallen by 3.7 percentage points over five years, however, a steep fall than the London average of 2.8 percentage points.
  • Homelessness acceptances in Lewisham are higher than the London average at 5.9 per 1,000 people compared to 5, but have risen much less than average since 2009.
  • Male life expectancy in Lewisham is 1.3 years below the London average. Lewisham also has the third highest underage pregnancy rate of any London borough.