New Bookshop opens in Lee.docx 


                                                                       (With acknowledgements to Theresa McCracken)

       Welcome news for Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham............

       But definitely not for us.


        Ed Vaizey has just written to our Mayor, Sir Steve Bullock to say he is not minded
        to intervene in the removal of 41% of the borough's library service provision as
        those which have become volunteer-run were underperforming anyway.
        A bit slow on the uptake is our Ed, since we have lobbied him for over 2 years.
        But now that his boss has been slid over to run the NHS he has obviously felt free
        enough to release this riveting news.
        The Guardian newspaper published an article in its 5th September issue causing
        several comments, one of which is repeated below.

    (Name whitheld)
    5 September 2012 2:54PM
    Funnily enough, I volunteer at one of the Lewisham branches mentioned so I have some insight in to this.  While the voluneers, particularly
    the full-timers, are trying their best, it's simply impossible to provide a proper service when you rely on a rolling procession of people who have never worked with books and who don't know about basic library procedures.
    To meake matters worse, the company running the library is cheap enough that they refuse to even fix the toilets, meaning the staff often have to go rond the corner to a bar or coffee shop instead.  And of course, the supply of new books has been effectively stopped with staff unsure whether the books still there will be transferred to other Lewisham libraries or not (because giving council property to a private company would of course be completely unfeasible).
    If there are less people using the libraries, it's because the service has deteriorated because of the government's negligence, not because the customers (many of which are elderly, vulnerable or parents of small children, who live nearby and who can't feasibly reach another of the boroough's libraries) don't want a library service.

     We think this says it all!

    On 25th September at Lee Green Ward Assembly meeting, a bid had been placed by Lewisham's Library and information Service for the sum of £2,500 to the production and installation of two notice boards displaying Manor House Library opening times.
    We felt this was inappropriate for a Statutory service to bid for Locality and Mayoral funding since we believed such funding was for the exclusive use of community groups and individuals for the purpose of enhancing their community.
    Chairman Peter presented the following at the meeting as reasons for opposing the bid.

    Manor House Library bid.  Objections.

    1.  The bid has been presented by Lewisham Library and Information Service. This is an arm of the Council and is a Statutory Service with its own budget.
    2.  The intent of Locality and Mayoral Funding is to provide a local funding source for individuals and community groups to fund projects designed to enhance facilities in their Wards for the benefit of residents.

    3.  At the completion of the refurbishment of Manor House Library, which cost the borough some £4.5m, a request by The Users & Friends of Manor House Library for the library service to display opening times on a notice board on library property was refused on ‘policy’ grounds that there were to be none.
    4.  Some time later, a co-service in the building, the Children’s Centre, did erect a board at the library entrance.

    5.  The Users & Friends of Manor House Library, a Community Group, bid for and was granted funding for its own notice board which is currently in library grounds.

    6.  To my knowledge all other bids have been granted to similar community groups for their particular requirements, and thus fulfil the intent of Assembly funding.

    7.  Clearly, even if it is legitimate for a Statutory Service to bid for such ‘external-to-budget’ funding, such a request flies in the face of the intent of Assembly funding and should therefore be
    refused.  After all, there is only one pie and if one Council service is granted this funding there will be less to meet the requirements of local community groups and a precedence is set which
    will most certainly be followed by other Council departments each with their own budgets.

    8.  This bid is quite out of order and must be refused.  It is up to the Council to
    advertise its statutory services to the public.

    The bid went to a vote and was refused unanimously.



     A current round of cutbacks has been issued by Lewisham Councl.


    We feel the end-game is to close Manor House Library with only a feeble attempt being made to save the Service for the community. 

    The idea is to utilise the Transfer of Asset process thoughtfully published by our very own Chief Executive in his "Quirk Report" published in 2007.

    The idea is to seek a host partner of specific qualification to manage the building which houses the library asset for the community.

    We feel this is night on impossible, such that the end-game is likely to become a percieved need to close the building after a temporary closure produces convincing figures to "prove" lack of use demands closure.

    This will reduce our local library to that below.


        Manor House Library after Manor House is closed.


    New Bookshop opens in Lee

    Superb new bookshop Halcyon Books has opened
    on the Lee High Road close to Manor House Library


    Situated opposite Boone’s Chapel on the Lee High Road
    Halcyon Books offer a brilliant range of new and used books
    covering a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction and reference
    titles.  The store is well worth a visit .  Treat yourselves!