Cultural Services by 2020 consultation

30 January 2015

Written by: Councillor Jane Edbrooke - Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods

Arts, culture and events - Consultations

I love Lambeth because there’s so much going on and I want everyone to have the opportunity to do something they enjoy. That’s partly about having great facilities but you and I know that being active, meeting people, watching a play or listening to music is good for us. It makes us happier and healthier so it’s important that people in Lambeth have access to affordable, varied activities.

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Cultural Services by 2020 consultation

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:

Library services

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.

Active Lambeth

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.

Cooperative working

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 The consultation will close at midnight on Friday 24 April 2015.

You can also:

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?

If you have any queries about the consultation or difficulty accessing any information please contact