Read Peter Richardson's Blog on the L.G. Ombudsman's website (click & scroll down to Feb)
Cartoon© Ralph Atkinson
MANOR HOUSE LIBRARY
A Grade II* - listed building
We celebrated our tenth anniversary in the early part of 2010 year. In 1999/2000 the proposed closures of Manor House Library and Blackheath Village Library were announced, both to be re-located in the Lee Gate Centre. Grove Park Library was also to be closed. All 3 communities immediately established strong support groups and fought off the closures and re-location. Having had such a fright the Council used the £1.25m set aside to deal with this and spent it on refurbishing and re-stocking other libraries in Lewisham. At the same time £1.75m was set aside for the refurbishment of the Manor House. Years were spent on this project, where Peter Richardson, Chair of the library group, sat as a member of the Project Team. The new facility opened to great fanfares in May 2009.
In the interim the group joined the newly formed Libraries for Life for
London. Currently all the news about our activities opposing the Lewisham
policy of library closures is displayed and regularly updated. We involved
ourselves from Day ONE as the committee felt such closures would:-
a. have an impact on the whole library service
b. end up providing a 2 tier service
c. all residents are tax payers of one kind or another, but some would be excluded from the library service, depending on where they lived
d. the economics of the policy were not, in any way, clear
e. alternative policies had to be looked at
We have also been members of The Library Campaign for the same period. Both memberships resulted in attending many conferences, seminars, workshops, library support groups and meeting politicians, advisers, policy makers, library professionals, across the library world in England.
At a local level we have kept an eye on library provision in Lewisham and publish a regular newsletter (3/4 times a year) to keep our members informed.
We are solvent. As well as the money left in the account as cash flow, to
support on-going work, we have been able to bid for grants.
1. South East London Community Fund granted us £999 shortly after us winning the fight to save our library which paid for a digital camera and exhibition boards.
2. Subsequent Locality Funding of £1,241.61 paid for our notice board in the front part of the library garden, regularly updated.
3. The grant of £3,000 from the Baring Foundation thus far some has been spent on providing reproduction paintings, sourced from the Baring Archive with the help of their archivist, and are displayed in the Baring Room at the Manor House.
4. To add to this money recent Locality Funding of £890 was awarded to support a Heritage Trail board in Old Road, to be followed by a leaflet for education purposes and distribution to local schools.
We have a formal constitution.
This set up a Committee with Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and members representatives.
An AGM is held annually, the last being in June 2010. There is provision for EGMs as required.
Council meeting - September 23rd at 6.15pm, in Laurence House Car
Park (opposite Town Hall) to lobby against library closures of all five libraries
with the user groups of same. The Council Meeting is scheduled to commence
Blackheath Village library second consultation meeting to be held at the Blackheath Halls on 13th October at 7.30 pm
The public is able to attend.
Best wishes from the Committee:-
Peter Richardson, Chairman
Gerry Ambrose, Vice-chairman
Norma Powell, Treasurer
Patricia Richardson, Secretary
Ralph Atkinson, Publicity Officer
Carol Spurling, Member Co-optee