Amidst growing pressure from the public, the UK government plans to assess the Lambeth council’s plans to convert some of its libraries into gyms with a unstaffed book-lending section.
As the first stage in the investigation process the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has stated that it would be treating the objections to the Lambeth council plans as official complaint. The DCMS will determine if the south London authority has potentially breached the law.
Jane Edbroke, the Lambeth Councillor stated “We understand that people are passionate about this issue, but it’s a simple fact: there is less money to go round, so savings have to be made.” The idea was presented to cope with sever central government spending cuts.
Laura Swaffield, chair of the Friends of Lambeth Libraries stated “They’ve only closed two libraries so far and the remaining libraries are absolutely packed out, with children queuing to use computers, people sitting on the floor and this will not improve in the future – when these buildings reopen as so-called libraries these will be without the capacity they have now.”
As support Carnegie library in Herne Hill, was occupied by a group of campaigners on 31 March, the day it was due to close. The occupation ended on Saturday. It gained won support of 220 writers and illustrators who signed a letter condemning Lambeth’s plans.