Lambeth Labour gets court approval to throw buds of tomorrow into street
A LONDON Labour council took the elderly and children to court yesterday to evict them from a library earmarked for “regeneration.”
On the ninth day of the occupation of Carnegie Library, Lambeth Council was granted an interim possession order by a county court.
The sit-in — mostly by children — is being held in protest at council plans to turn the grade II-listed 1906 library into a public-private partnership gym.
“This is a grotesque waste of council resources. The council should be spending its money keeping library services for the community, not on criminalising its own residents,” resident Steven Ellis told the Star.
Councillor Jane Edbrooke was reshuffled away from having responsibility for libraries on Tuesday following her disastrous handling of the crisis.
The council blamed spending cuts for its drastic decision to close Carnegie and turn it into a gym, but campaigners pointed out that the library was one of the most used in the borough.
“There’s absolutely no reason why the doors of this library can’t be open again tomorrow,” said Mr Ellis.
“The staff is still being paid by the council, the building is still there, the books are still there.
“The way to solve this problem is to carry on promoting the library service.”
Bailiffs are expected at the library on Denmark Hill this weekend.
Children’s author Francesca Simon is among the celebrities supporting the occupation, having brought down some homemade brownies for the protesters.
“Closing libraries is not only a crime against children, but a crime against an entire community,” she said.
“Libraries offer a safe space to discover things you never knew you were looking for.
“At a time when one in three UK households has no books … libraries play a vital part of diminishing inequality.
“I’ve yet to meet a writer who didn’t spend their childhoods in their local library.
“When I came to the UK in the late ’70s, Britain was a much poorer country than it is now, yet libraries were open everywhere.”
A London-wide protest in support of the Carnegie occupation will be taking place today at 11.30am outside the library.