The Livesey

This comes from Bridget, one of the coordinators to save the Livesey:

Despite a fast and popular campaign, lasting 21 days from a standing start (when the very first rumour of the threatened closure came out), Southwark Council finally voted to close the much loved Livesey Museum for Children. Its doors shut on 29th February 2008 (thought I’d add the year as some of you might have foolishly imagined the courtesy of a year’s grace).

The process has been scandalous: A lack of detailed research to inform their decision, lack of consultation with and support for the staff, lack of information to the public and regular users, and the use of substantially wrong statistics to assess its value and to brief councillors.

One high point was the children’s delegation before the Council meeting on the 20th Feb. We were really proud of them for asking such articulate and challenging questions of Cllr Stanton. Another high point has been the enormous amount of press coverage, which presses on as the story continues.

The story continues because the Council has agreed to discuss with us the option of the Friends forming a trust and seeking funds to run the Museum. Key points to negotiate are that we would need to be able to use the building and that Southwark wouldn’t sell it, as they have said they plan to do, and that we would be able to access the Southwark art and heritage collections for use in displays. There have already been three approaches from good charities to support this cause, so we are hopeful. A lot of hard work will follow and there is a danger that we will feel deflated once the Museum shuts. If anyone has expertise, time, ideas, contacts and resources to help please get in touch.

I wonder whether the Quirk Review and the things that talked about might offer a way forward.


About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
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One Response to The Livesey

  1. Reidski says:

    Strange that I’ve been around these parts for nearly 20 years, I have a 14 year old child and I’ve been past the Livesy literally hundreds of times, but, yet, I’ve never been in it. Stupid really. In fact, as stupid as the council’s decision to close it down.

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