#75: Camberwell’s children need a better deal

THE NEW LIBRARY TO BE BUILT ON THE COMMUNITY ORCHARD COULD BE TOO SMALL.

Civic campaigner Abby Taubin has written to us that the proposed 700 square metre library which Southwark insists can only be built on the Community Orchard site next to Camberwell Green, could be far too small for today’s and future needs.

The school/college aged population of Camberwell Green is 6,300 today and may be 8,100 by 2030 (Southwark’s own statistics). From a quick overview of libraries around the world, the requirement for the study needs for this population of students could be twice the size of the inadequate library proposed by Southwark Council. Not only is the scheme an affront to local people’s right to open space, but it is contemptuous of their right to adequate educational and cultural space. The failure to provide them with better resources writes them off. But it isn’t only youngsters at schools and colleges who use libraries. By 2030 the 18,000 population of Camberwell Green will need a library of 2,800 square metres. The Council must not destroy a unique green space to build an absurdly small library. A proper space must be found for a library that will stand as a monument to good planning for Camberwell’s population. Abby couldn’t find any break down of how the space was to be used or evidence of responsible library planning analysis. I urge Camberwell Green Councillors, Ahern, Dixon-Fyle and Oyewole, Council Leader Peter John and Councillor Veronica Ward, to address these points and to ask themselves whether the children of Camberwell deserve more ambitious support.

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Filed under Orchard, Southwark Council

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