The People’s Audit team of volunteers in Lambeth have been working for many months to piece together what has really been going on at Lambeth Council and the background to its unpopular decisions.
Read the recently released people’s audit chapter on libraries here:Laura Swaffield from Friends of Lambeth Libraries said:“The Council has serious questions to answer over its baffling libraries-into-gyms plan. It makes no sense – least of all financially – and certainly doesn’t put Lambeths libraries on a sustainable footing as is often claimed. It makes no sense – least of all financially – and certainly doesn’t put Lambeths libraries on a sustainable footing as is often claimed. Now, the painstaking work by the People’s Audit team reveals very serious concerns. For starters: why did the council reject chance after chance to save its 10 libraries? When did Lambeth start negotiating its secret deal with GLL? Who really benefits? Above all – why was an efficient, low-cost, much-needed library service thrown to the wolves, while millions will go to yuppie gyms that nobody wants or asked for? All highly relevant for the 1 in 3 Lambeth residents who use the Boroughs libraries.”Green Party activist & Herne Hill candidate Bruno Combelles reacted to the Peoples Audit chapter on libraries, saying:“This report highlights once again the contempt with which library users are treated in Lambeth. Following decades of under-funding by the Council, it seems that libraries are now being used by Cabinet members as bargaining chips to gain favours from suppliers behind closed doors. Lambeth needs to start listening to the concerns and needs of local residents and community groups before making irreparable damage to public assets.”Working through the Local Audit & Accountability Act and Freedom of Information Act, the Peoples Audit are ensuring our local councils spend money wisely and can account for that expenditure. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @PeoplesAudit.News from Crystal Palace have covered the report extensively:http://www.newsfromcrystalpalace.co.uk/lambeth-council-agreed-7-million-fee-reduction-with-greenwich-leisure-over-controversial-libraries-plans-sponsorship-of-black-cultural-archives-was-contingent-upon-dealhttp://www.newsfromcrystalpalace.co.uk/the-questions-lambeth-council-must-now-answer-in-full-point-by-point-and-without-any-obfuscation-or-prevarication-or-avoidance