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Forest Hill Library - Proposed Cut to Funding
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michael


Posts: 3,215
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #121
03-12-2015 01:24 PM

Quote:
The library is not just a place for book borrowing, but also a place for reading and adult learning.

Completely agree with that and figures for borrowing AND for visitor numbers can be found at http://www.foresthillsociety.com/2015/10...isham.html

Visitors to Forest Hill have risen by 17% in four years and book borrowing has fallen by 6%. In community libraries book borrowing has fallen by 60%-90% while visitor numbers have increased.

Forest Hill library has the same number of visitors as Sydenham and Crofton Park combined (that is true for 2010 and 2014). In 2010 Forest Hill lent the same number of books as the two libraries combines, in 2014 It lent 2.5 times as many books (despite a 6% fall at Forest Hill).

My conclusion is that community libraries can be just as good for the non-lending activities as a council managed library, but they have completely failed to run book lending services that are equivalent.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #122
03-12-2015 02:23 PM

See Michael's previous post #91

Figures for Forest Hill library 2014-2015

Visitors 156,000
Books borrowed 108,000

That's a massively used library!

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #123
08-12-2015 01:37 PM

It's the Mayor and Cabinet meeting tomorrow evening where we will find out the future of our library in Forest Hill.

Mayor Bullock will make his final decision.

Please come along if you can.

6pm
Civic Suite
Catford

See here for the Forest Hill Traders Association letter opposing the community model for Forest Hill library.

http://www.foresthillsociety.com/2015/12...um=twitter

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Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #124
08-12-2015 08:17 PM

Hear, hear!

Well put.

Thanks FHSoc.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #125
09-12-2015 09:30 PM

Hey all

Sorry to say Forest Hill, Manor House and Torridon Road will now become "Community Libraries"

There wasn't really any point in the "Soap Opera" pretending to give a damn about what local people felt.

Massive thanks to Michael who gave a great speech to fight our corner and who also gave another very sensible option for our library and others but for sure they had made their minds up already and didn't even think about it because just about 10 minutes later we were told it was a done deal.

So this change is planned to happen next August, so who knows what state our library service will be in this time next year :-(

On a last note I wonder if "Sir Mayor Bullock" would be interested in volunteering at FH library. After all he is a FH resident!

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #126
09-12-2015 10:35 PM

This is a dire situation, but its not one caused by Lewisham Council, but the people in this country who put this wretched Tory government into power.

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edd


Posts: 147
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #127
09-12-2015 11:16 PM

Really? I though the council, not government, choose how to spend what money they have.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #128
09-12-2015 11:23 PM

I agree Roz it is a dire situation BUT is this happening because the majority in this country voted Tory government into power or because Lewisham Council will not fight back against cuts by central government.

What I do think is that someone somewhere in some kind of authority needs to grow a pair and fight against these cuts to stop this madness somehow or someway. Yes it might backfire but it might just as well work.

I personally think this is a risk well worth taking to make a change otherwise it will just carry on spinning out of control and let's face it right now there's not much to lose.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #129
09-12-2015 11:27 PM

Yes Edd, you're right the council put the proposal to "Sir Mayor Bullock" and he agreed.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #130
10-12-2015 12:48 PM

There are plenty of tories in SE23 and lib dems (=the same thing).
Most of them will have greatly benefited from today's tax evading methods, the extreme inequality in wealth distribution and property inflation.

I'm sure most of them are decent and believe that local libraries positively benefit the community. It's just that they felt maybe that their taxes were being absorbed by too many layers of government.

So here is an opportunity for them to show how this Big Society idea can work. If just 500 felt strongly enough to commit £1k a year, that would fill a big hole in the FHL budget and resolve this crisis. Make it £10k a year and they can have their name engraved on the wall and go down in history.

They really should not need an anonymous poster to suggest they organise themselves to fill these gaps in funding - they are meant to believe in this way of doing things.

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shaman


Posts: 71
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #131
10-12-2015 01:05 PM

When's the council tax reduction kicking in then?

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Red67


Posts: 141
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #132
11-12-2015 10:25 AM

P1971, a well said and painfully relevant question at the start of your last post....

In light of that question, if anyone is still in any doubt, the amount of cuts Lewisham are being forced/are choosing to make, from the LBL website:

"We need to save a further £83million by 2020 as Government continues to reduce the Council's funding."

Have a look at this (warning: headache inducing), if you want to get a bit of insight into how the funding of local govt is actually structured.
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy..._Guide.pdf

This is the thing that the Tories have slashed which is most seriously affecting inner London and poorer regional boroughs more than those that are more, errrm, wealthy, and (probably) TORY run!

Hmmmm...

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robbrockley


Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #133
11-12-2015 10:35 PM

The cuts are surely not a surprise to anyone are they? Lewisham have been telling us about them all year and ran a long consultation exercise where they asked us to go onto a modeller and choose were we would make just to balance the books. I assume everyone did that as it was a direct consultation.

I'm not for one minute in favour of the cuts and think what they have decided on Libraries is wrong. When I did the modeller I could get to the cuts they need to make but it meant severe reductions on parks spending, cuts to all back office functions (easy to go after but can have a devastating effect), putting charges up on some services - leisure, sport etc - reducing housing benefit and local housing allowance and council tax reduction (not good news if you depend on this I know), and some other things which I now forget. I was keen to protect social services for the young and elderly, schools and libraries.

The problem is the cuts have to fall somewhere and for all the talk of telling the Council to object to central government etc, that isn't going to make one jot of difference. So stand by your beds - more cuts, lots more cuts, are coming.

Well done for raising the issue but I think this campaign was always doomed to fail.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #134
12-12-2015 10:03 AM

I found the consultation model to be more spin than useful. It didn't allow for any additional income streams for instance. That said, if we want to keep the library service as is, then the council could raise the revenue required via council tax. With a directly elected mayor, I believe that Lewisham can do this. Am not saying that this is what should happen but it is disingenuous not to have the option on the table.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #135
12-12-2015 12:26 PM

My impression is that it would in fact be very difficult for councils to raise council tax next year by more than 2% (allowed by the Chancellor specifically to pay for more adult social care.) I'm not sure of the exact position but I believe that if they did so they would have either to hold a referendum first or lose central government funding or possibly (sounds unlikely though) both.

This post was last modified: 12-12-2015 12:27 PM by robin orton.

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robbrockley


Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #136
13-12-2015 12:50 AM

Councils can put up CTax by 2% if they choose to. Beyond that they have to hold a local referendum first to see if constituents agree to a higher increase. In addition, in the Autumn statement the Chancellor agreed to allow Councils to apply a further up to 2% precept specifically to fund shortfalls in social care. I have no idea if Lewisham will choose to levy that precept. If they did both things to the max they could put CTAx up by a total of 4% - but I doubt very much that they will.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #137
13-12-2015 07:50 AM

They wont put Council Tax up as they know people in the main cant afford to pay it and their rate of non payment will increase.

Councils all over are having to make these cuts in favour of more statutory responsibilities in social care.

Im grieving too- libraries were my social life as a child and where I went after school to chill out , meet people, do homework and revision and to read widely - books and ideas- politics and history, hobbies, etc. I read things I wouldnt normally have access to. As an adult during unemployment periods or looking to change jobs I used to research jobs in the newspapers, read up on cvs, or just while away a few hours skimming books.
I cant believe my own children wont have that. Id envisgaged them going to FH library with their friends on the way home from school.

The provision for kids is a good question and it would be good to know how thay will fare in the new model.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #138
13-12-2015 10:51 AM

All's not lost just yet where our library is concerned!

rbmartin, not sure if I know you or not but could you pop in for a chat with me or dm me an email address please.

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Red67


Posts: 141
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #139
13-12-2015 01:33 PM

"The cuts are surely not a surprise to anyone are they? Lewisham have been telling us about them all year and ran a long consultation exercise where they asked us to go onto a modeller and choose were we would make just to balance the books. I assume everyone did that as it was a direct consultation."

You would have thought this was the case, wouldn't you?!!
Obviously not.

It would be better if Lewisham just came out with brutal, factual honesty about the cuts rather than the (frankly) pathetic wringing of hands, talk of difficult decisions and trying to look like they are 'consulting' and 'listening'.
They have a huge mandate and they are now carrying out the Tory cuts under that mandate.
More pain to come.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #140
13-12-2015 09:54 PM

Red67 all's not lost in my eyes yet!

Email me if you want to keep updated on FH library proposals.

Never say never!!

I will but try :-)

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