All Lambeth libraries set to remain open

Clapham library was opened this week

Clapham library was opened this week

First published in Streatham Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

All of the borough’s libraries will remain open, with some given extra investment, the council will confirm next week.

The announcement comes after a public consultation into the future of libraries earlier this year, which led to fears opening times would be drastically cut and some facilities closed.

The borough has 10 libraries and, at a cabinet meeting on Monday, councillors will also hear some libraries will get further investment.

Funding will be given to help improve library buildings, introduce Wi-Fi and self service facilities, the council said.

Some libraries will be open seven days-a-week, with community groups encouraged to take an active role in their running.

A brand new library in Clapham, the first new library in 40 years, was opened this week.

Streatham Library will be given fresh investment of £400,000 to improve its aging facilities.

There will also be discussions whether to move it to a new site in Gracefield Gardens – raising questions about what might happen to the current building.

Councillor Sally Prentice, Lambeth Council’s cabinet member for culture said: "We have taken a very different approach to a lot of other councils.

"We have made savings to make the service more efficient and we are keeping all of the libraries open.

"There are some exciting plans, with a cinema company interested in working with West Norwood Library, moving Waterloo Library to a new site and fresh investment in Streatham.

"It is a good success story for us."

Laura Swathfield, chairman of Friends of Lambeth Libraries, said: "The plan is not absolutely perfect and there is a lot of work still to be done.

"But I have to say compared to the rubbish we have had to deal with before this is an excellent piece of work and I congratulate the people who produced it.”

Jeremy Clyne, Liberal Democrat councillor for Streatham Hill said: "There will be cut backs of course.

"The council is saying it will carry out an appraisal for the move of Streatham Library.

"But if there is money available then it should be put back into the existing library and they should keep it there. I just wonder if it is a short term fix."

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