Obviously having good facilities costs money and I’ll be honest about what we can afford. The council is facing unprecedented cuts to its core funding and has to save £90 million by 2018. By 2018 we’re going to have just over half what we had in the budget for these services in 2013-14.
Furthermore, our population is expected to increase by more than 30,000 in the next 10 years and we’ll need to prepare for this now.
We’ve had thousands of conversations with people over the last few years about libraries, parks, sports facilities and events. I’d like to thank everyone who’s shared their experiences and ideas – they’ve all helped shape the proposals we’re consulting on now.
How we intend to make financial savings and meet the challenges ahead are set out in our Cultural Services by 2020 booklet. Here are some of the ideas:
We want to use some of our assets to have money to invest more widely for the future so we’re proposing to sell Waterloo and Minet libraries and use the money to help create a £10million endowment fund for the culture and library services. We’re proposing to have five town centre libraries and four community libraries across the borough and having that money means we can invest in and look after them.
Parks and events
We also want to be more ambitious around generating income in our parks. Included in this is a new proposed Events Strategy to bring a cultural festival to Lambeth, hold more events across the whole borough and bring our sound levels for events into line with the majority of London.
We propose to renegotiate the current leisure contract in 2017 to provide better value for money and use the surplus income from our successful leisure centres to fund preventative activities to tackle the impact of ill health. Our draft Active Lambeth sports strategy also proposes to establish a Sport Innovation Fund, that would provide access to facilities at reduced rates for Lambeth based community-led sport clubs and self-help groups.
We’re proposing to work with local people and partners across Lambeth to transform how cultural services are provided. In some cases the council will do less, stand back, and let others take the lead. Some organisations are already stepping up and taking over, for example SCCoop are now managing the Rookery at Streatham Common in association with the council.
What are we consulting on?
What I need from you now is to help me understand whether we’re going in the right direction. In particular we’re consulting on the proposals for Lambeth’s libraries, along with events in parks and a draft sports strategy. Of course, we’ll continue to have conversations about what else we need; how we can make the most of what we have; and how you’re willing to help us achieve our ambitions by 2020.
Our ambition is that by 2020:
- No matter where you live in Lambeth you‘ll be within 20 minutes average walking time from affordable activities which will improve your health and wellbeing.
- 85% of Lambeth’s population take part in regular cultural, sports and physical activities.
- All residents have access to a range of affordable, excellent facilities where they can engage in cultural, sports and physical activities.
Let us know what you think
You can find the overview booklet, all documentation and a questionnaire on the consultation page at www.lambeth.gov.uk/culture2020consultation. The consultation will close at midnight on Friday 24 April 2015.
You can also:
- speak to your elected ward councillor about these proposals. You can find out who your councillor is and how to speak to them here
- Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow us and comment using social media – Twitter @lambeth_council #culture2020
A range of events will also be held across the borough – sign up to the Love Lambeth enewsletter to make sure you hear about these.
Want to know more?
- Send us your experiences, reviews or suggestions to email@example.com
- Read the Cultural Services by 2020 consultation booklet
- Read the Events Strategy
- Visit the consultation pages and complete the questionnaire
- Visit the Culture2020 pages on this blog
- What are your recommendations for Top 10 things to do in Lambeth with kids?
If you have any queries about the consultation or difficulty accessing any information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org