The Deptford Dame reports delays in the opening of the library in the new Deptford Lounge building. Originally it was due to re-open tomorrow. Staff at Wavelengths told us this is due to a problem with the under-floor heating, which had to be re-dug up...You can still use Lewisham Library or renew online at www.lewisham.gov.uk/libraries, or phone 0208 314 6399.
In a great example of Localism – getting information from the horse's mouth, in the total absence of any news from the council itself – staff also say there is a delay in the refurbishment of the old library which is to become a massive gym, and confirm that there will be no cafe facilities (so no Starbucks). The good news is that for those who don't qualify for a Lewisham Plus Card, membership will now be more flexible (not tied to a 12-month contract), and will give access to other facilities in the borough.
The Dame also reports the delay in the opening of Tidemill School as an Academy, resulting in a scandalous alternative for parents, who will be asked to pay £100 a week to place their kids on a playscheme whilst the school closes early for Christmas to facilitate the move to the new building. The story was reported in the Evening Standard, the South London Press and by local campaign academies.sayingno.org. Parents believe that if the school were still under local authority control, free child-care would have been provided. A bullish chairman of governors, Keith Geary, said "there's no obligation for us to provide this service."
This is typical of the attitude of the Tidemill Academy governors, some of whom have no links with education at all. Crosswhatfields recently caught a glimpse of the new facilities at the new site, which look fantastic. Geary and his like would have us think these facilities are part of their Academy vision, but in fact they are intrinsic to Lewisham's vision for the area that involve the old school site being redeveloped, with the building of 400 flats due to start in 2012 (bringing the total number of new homes planned for Deptford to around 6,500).