Support the Lambeth ‘Save our Libraries’ fight
This branch/body notes that:
Closing libraries is short-sighted and irresponsible and that public libraries are an essential part of a functioning literate nation. Closing libraries in a time of austerity is like closing hospitals in a time of plague. In the last Public sector spending round, the Tory government pushed through cuts of £6.1 billion and are looking to go even further: Local authorities are now struggling to deliver statutory services or even stay afloat. The overall budget of many authorities has already fallen by as much as a third. Lambeth Council have announced that they want to make 1,000 staff redundant over the next two years and £100 million cuts. Its time Labour Councils stood up to Tory austerity.
On 1st April 2016, contrary to the desires expressed in a consultation to keep libraries open, Lambeth Council will hand over three of their Libraries to Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) to turn into gyms (these are big public assets which are being given away to GLL on 25 year ‘peppercorn’ rents); sell off Waterloo Library and hand Upper Norwood Library to a trust to run the building with no staff.
Unison, the Friends of Lambeth Libraries and the Save Libraries campaign have organised supporters to oppose the Council’s plans and have lobbied, taken strike action and demonstrated at levels unseen in recent years.
We resolve to:
- Support the campaign in Lambeth to defend the libraries including supporting community occupations and staff strike action.
- Give support, including a donation £…………………, to the Lambeth Unison members in Libraries to help them to continue their industrial action and to fight back against the Councils cuts.
- Encourage members to sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/london-borough-of-lambeth-don-t-steal-our-libraries.
- Raise within our unions and labour Parties the call for London-wide and nation-wide action, including demonstrations, publicity and industrial action, to stop the massacre of national Library services currently underway.
Donations payable to Lambeth Unison: C/o Unison, 1st floor, International House, Canterbury Crescent. London. SW9 7QE.