Head of Lambeth libraries leaves ahead of consultation report
The head of Lambeth’s library service has left his position just two weeks before the results of a much anticipated public consultation are published.
Praveen Manghani resigned his post at Lambeth Council last week to pursue a new role with an arts organisation, the council confirmed.
The announcement comes as campaign groups await the findings of a borough- wide consultation into how Lambeth’s libraries will be run in the future following significant budget cuts.
The council, which will formally announce the consultation results at a cabinet meeting on July 9, has outlined plans to slash spending on the service by £750,000 over a four-year period that it insists is necessary because of cuts to its budget by central Government.
Laura Swaffield, chairman of the Friends of Lambeth Libraries, said Mr Manghani’s decision to leave “would not help” efforts to preserve the libraries in places such as Streatham and West Norwood.
He said: “I am sorry to lose [Mr Manghani]. He was a creative character with ideas. It is a really difficult situation with Lambeth’s libraries.
“As campaigners, we are always the last to know what is going on.”
“Things are going through council that we do not like. [Officers] are lavishing attention on the centre of the borough in Clapham at the expense of the north and the south – both Streatham and West Norwood libraries have been neglected for years.”
In 2011, Lambeth’s libraries had the lowest user satisfaction ratings of any London borough.
West Norwood library and the adjoining Nettlefold Hall remain closed after thieves stole copper from the roof of the buildings.