Around 17,000 people, some of whom lobbied last night's Lewisham Council meeting, have signed petitions against possible library closures in Crofton Park, Sydenham, New Cross, Grove Park and Blackheath Village.But they weren't just having a whinge - they had alternate suggestions too:
Slashing the pay of council chiefs, ending local assemblies and cutting the millions paid to consultants are all alternatives to shutting libraries, a meeting was told.That, as you can imagine, didn't go down too well.
I mean, there's localism, and then there's 'You what? Our pay and perks?! You lot can just do one! What do you think this is, a democracy?'
Sir Steve warned the meeting there were other under-threat areas affecting people “who don’t have the ability to mount a campaign”.Because if you raise your voices to be heard, that's somehow 'unfair' to those who...err... haven't raised their voices. Apparantly.
He said: “When we come to the crunch we can’t simply decide on how loud the voices are on one given issue.”
Councillors’ questions revealed the authority spent £5,264,796 on consultants in the last financial year and has an annual budget for local assemblies of £866,000.We can't have consultants starving in the gutters of Lewisham, now can we?