Saturday, 25 June 2011

Libraries Update - The New Cross Charges

Negotiations are continuing for New Cross library to be taken over and run as a 'people's library'. The council is set upon charging a rent of around £35,000 a year to the lucky people that take on the challenge.

This would mean an effective cut of more than 130% to the funding of library services to New Cross.   Council funding was about £100,000 a year. Now they want to charge £35,000 pa for a much reduced service.

However, people are so keen to get the library re-opened that they might just agree to it.

(Generously the council have said they can use the £60,000 put aside for self-issue machines to pay for the first two years).

An emerging libraries villian is Ed Vaizey, Minister for culture, communications and creative industries, for his lack of intervention now after shouting loud about library cuts whilst in opposition..

Here is a question posed to him by Benedicte Page, Bookseller.

"Ms Page addressing Ed Vaizey - In the case of Lewisham, New Cross has closed, Gloucestershire has embarked in legal measures to prevent closures as occurred in the Wirral. It is not difficult to see why some communities are unable to embark on these extremely lengthy and expensive legal claims. Why can you not intervene?

Ed’s response: I stay close to my officials, and will not utilise the “nuclear button” of intervention unless advised by his officials to do so. And so far he has not been advised to do so."

See also Independent columnist John Walsh on why  Ed Vaizey has not been advised to do so..
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