We have been asked a number of questions recently regarding the future of the Penge and Anerley Libraries and the former Penge Urban District Council Town Hall in Anerley Road – usually referred to now as Anerley Town Hall.
The Penge & Cator councillors have had a meeting with council officers on this. We were also present when it was discussed at the Bromley Council Executive and at the meeting of Penge Forum last week.
The plan is for both Libraries to shut in early December. The new Penge Library in Green Lane will open around a week later with new stock, more space, more PCs etc. This is something we have been campaigning for. We do love the Maple Road library but it is no longer really fit for purpose – too small, not enough computers, needs refurbishing. Green Lane would not have been our first choice for a location but it is the best we have.
Anerley Library will not be re-opening. The council will claim that they are combining the two but a Library at Green Lane is no replacement for one at Anerley Town Hall. This is a disgraceful decision and we have argued against it. The closure is directly related to the Tory council’s budget cuts but otyher options were available. For instance, there are other Libraries in Tory areas that are less well used than Anerley.
At the same time, you should be aware that the building itself will be under threat. Following years of neglect, the Town Hall, not surprisingly, now needs at least £600,000 spent on it. Watch for a committee report later in the year suggesting remedies. Anyone want to buy the site?