Sunday, 19 March 2017

Library Protest 5pm this Wednesday

Join our last-ditch protest this coming Wednesday, 22nd March, when the council will announce which enterprise will take over Manor House Library.

The council is willing to allow a host partner the privilege of leasing the building (for twenty-five years!) and pay no rent, have a special discount on the business rates, to rent out the rooms with the rents going to the host partner, while the council tax-payer still funds the mortgage and some maintenance, loses the business rate and makes no money from the publicly funded investment. What genius came up with this? The preferred community organisation of the council is V22, but the public's choice by consultation was Arts Network. Why is the council ignoring public wishes, if the consultation was genuine?

2 out of 3 of V22's subsidiary companies are profit-making. If and when their position on the stock market collapses, this will bring a wrecking ball to our library service. The foundation may have charitable aims but is not a charity as yet, but has been 'in the process of registering' for more than a year. Handing over public services to a private company is scandalous!

Come along to the protest at 5pm outside the Town Hall on Wednesday 22nd March when Mayor and Council rubber stamp this calamity.

Alongside our protest will be parents and pupils and teachers from Forest Hill School, where they have been forced to take strike action. The Mayor and Head say the cuts imposed as conditions of the council's loan, 20% cut to staff budget, sacking 15 teachers in the next term, will produce a 'lean', mean, teaching machine. The reality is it would put the school in a tailspin. The library campaign stands in solidarity with this campaign.

There will be a social in the Catford Constitutional Club after the protest.

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