Row over closure threat to Lambeth libraries

<p>Lambeth council has dismissed as &quot;scaremongering&quot; reports that four libraries are threatened with closure, with two others at risk of downgrading, because of the borough&#39;s financial woes.<br /><br />Opposition councillor Ashley Lumsden, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said that plans to close the libraries in Kennington and Herne Hill were &quot;hidden among 500 pages of appendices&quot; to a Property Performance Report uploaded on the council&#39;s website. Lumsden called the plan &quot;a fire-sale of valuable commmunity assets.&quot;<br /><br />The Property Performance Report stated that Lambeth has a &pound;35m backlog of building repairs. Comments on individual libraries included that Carnegie Library in Herne Hill &quot;would be ideal for sale for a private residential flat conversion&quot;, and that Minet Library, North Brixton, &quot;could be closed.&quot;<br /><br />However a spokesperson for Labour-controlled Lambeth council said: &quot;It is categorically untrue that we plan to close any libraries without replacing them,&quot; calling the claims &quot;a bit of scaremongering&quot; using &quot;selective quotes&quot;.<br /><br />The spokesperson added: &quot;This was an asset management report written by our finance department. Yes, it&#39;s important that we look at the condition of our buildings. Anyone who visits our libraries will know some of the buildings are old and need replacement.<br /><br />&quot;But we want to improve our libraries, not take them away.&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p>