All posts by Frances Lamb

CCT news

New Trustees  

Welcome to Laurice Laird and Neil McLeod who joined the board of Trustees on 10th June.   Laurice works in a senior role in corporate communications, and has also has skills from past jobs in journalism and event management.   Neil brings considerable experience as an asset manager of commercial and residential property developments, with helpful knowledge of the planning process and project viability analysis.


While the Carnegie building remains closed, donations  for the Norwood & Brixton Foodbank can  be dropped off in a box outside 61 Ruskin Walk (our local collection manager’s address).   Alternatively, he advises:  “If you want to donate in person, you can drop items off to our SOUTH LONDON WAREHOUSE at St Margaret’s Church, Barcombe Avenue, Streatham, SW2 3BH,  Monday – Friday 9.30am – 2.30pm.  There will usually be our large blue drop boxes outside the church (weather permitting) so donations can go directly in those.”
See map at the bottom of the Foodbank’s website:

Stories, with photos, of the Foodbank’s work:

Re-opening of Carnegie building

We await hearing from the Council regarding when, and how, the building will re-open.

Best wishes,
Carnegie Community Trust CIO




Carnegie Heritage Plan consultation

Many thanks to those who have given their views, comments and suggested re-wording.
Here is a revised version of the Heritage Plan – link

We’re still consulting, so please if you wish to comment drop us a line, either by email to:

or by a note to ‘Carnegie Community Trust’ at the Library.   We are checking for mail during the coronavirus lockdown.

With best wishes,

Carnegie Community Trust CIO


Dorchester Court planning application – consultation deadline is this Friday 8th May

Dorchester Court, Herne Hill, is a landmark Grade 2 listed 1930s building, and is one of only two 20th Century listed buildings in Lambeth.

The owner has applied for Planning Permission to develop the eight existing blocks by adding two penthouse flats to each block, and build eight new town houses on the site of the former garages.  The existing blocks would be renovated.

If you wish to comment in the public consultation on this landmark Herne Hill building, the application can be found by entering ‘Dorchester Court’ in the search box on Lambeth’s planning search page:
You then click through to the page called ‘Planning Application – Summary’ where there is a choice to ‘Make a Comment’.
Some background information can be found at –      (the residents’ association)

Carnegie Community Trust
6th May 2020

The Carnegie Heritage Plan – Consultation – Seeking your views

The Trustees of Carnegie Community Trust want the Carnegie Library building to respond to 21st century needs whilst continuing to preserve the Edwardian heritage both in the exterior and interior fabric of the building, and in learning and recreation in the local area.

A Conservation Statement produced in 2014 gives us a strong steer on priorities.
In 2019/20 we received a Heritage Lottery Resilience Grant which has helped us to implement our business plan and purchase equipment. As a requirement of this grant, we have developed a Heritage Plan, which sets out the principles that we will apply to the care of the building as a Heritage Asset.

Link to Heritage Plan.  This has been added to the Project Documents page on our website.

We would very much appreciate your comments on the Carnegie Heritage Plan and welcome your suggestions for improvement.

Please send comments by 31 May to
Thank you.

Carnegie Community Trust
21st April 2020



Happy New Year to everyone interested in the success of the Carnegie!

After a stormy 2019 for the UK this will be an important year on many levels – including the success of the Carnegie Community Hub. Currently we are operating under a licence but plans for a long term lease are progressing and will be kept under review by our solicitors.

Room hire. Four rooms varying in size are available for hire. We have increasing numbers of enquiries and successful bookings for regular activities and single events. Enquiries include parties, play sessions, physical activity, physiotherapy. We are keen to introduce a yoga class. Room rates are on the website.   link
A Brochure is under development for Spring 2020.

Desk rental. The Enterprise Centre is ready to go – desk spaces on the first floor are available for hire now.    link  EC flyer v 3
Please contact to look around and discuss the terms and conditions.

Café. Plans for the Community Cafe are also progressing, supported by our local partners – we have a workable design and expect the large front room to be cleared soon.

Garden. The Garden Planning Group is progressing well – with plans for fund-raising and for winter tidying and pruning.  It’s lovely to see what comes up in Spring when we clear some space.

Waitrose donation.  Waitrose kindly offered us a slot in their ‘Community Charity’ collection scheme (where shoppers put green tokens in a collection box). A welcome cheque for £340 was received before Christmas.  Thank you Waitrose!

Food bank.  Many thanks to all who have contributed so generously.  The collection box is in the entrance lobby and here is the list of wanted items – link 
For more information please contact

Lastly, we are always looking for volunteers at any level of involvement, from support for events to new Trustees – contact

Thank you.


Work proposed on trees in grounds of Carnegie Library building, Autumn 2019

Lambeth Libraries are about to do some work on the trees in the grounds of the Library, to remove dead and diseased wood and protect the building where trees  are likely to cause  damage. You can see what is proposed here.  If you have any comments about the proposed work on the trees please contact Susanna Barnes

It is planned that the work will be carried out in early November.


Planning permission, the garden, volunteers…and putting the record straight

Workspace planning permission
We have now received planning permission for the change of use of two rooms at Carnegie to accommodate the “Enterprise Centre” – as previously, this is a shared workspace with fixed desks. The two rooms covered by this permission are the Old Lecture Room upstairs and the room immediately below it (next to the lift). Initially only the upper room has been  fitted out, and we will be advertising this workspace soon.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our consultation on the garden design.  The garden group will be putting all your ideas together and sharing these. They are keeping the rear garden tidy and making progress on the dense overgrowth in the border gardens; please let us know if you would like to help – we arrange fairly impromptu gardening sessions quite often.

The Volunteer Training Sessions are now underway – on Saturday 7th September the  Equality Training was very successful. These are short, informative sessions. If you would like to volunteer and also join these sessions please contact:
Volunteers are needed at all levels, from occasional helper to Trustee. To discuss, please contact Helen Schofield on 07729806881 or Frances Lamb on 07976 965536

Putting the record straight
We hope you received our July Newsletter, either online or by hand delivery. We will have more to communicate in the coming months, and we know that you are keen to know what we are planning and achieving. If you aware of areas, or neighbours, not receiving our newsletters, please either let us know so we can post a print version or feel free to share our website/twitter/email details
A bulletin from the Friends of Carnegie Library was circulated recently by hand to a number of local addresses. It includes some outright lies which we would like to correct now:

  • CCT has no plans to apply for approval for a licensed bar at Carnegie. For some events there will be ad hoc licensing.
    We will be opening an unlicensed Community Café, for which we need approval of plans.
  • CCT has no plans to create a terrace at the front of the building for drinks, food or any other purpose. The garden group is consulting about and applying for funding to restore and improve the gardens.
  • CCT has received no funding from Lambeth since we became a charity in October 2015.  Prior to this Lambeth had made a project development grant to the original Project Group out of the Co-op Borough Fund. The Council had also funded an architectural options appraisal, a conservation report and a condition survey as well as a public consultation.  All of that was before the gym proposal emerged.

Trustees and local Councillors have received and replied to a number of emails about the false assertions in the FoCL Bulletin, and we are sorry that local residents have yet again been given misleading and worrying information by the Friends’leadership.


Carnegie Library Gardens – consultation

Everyone who cares about the Carnegie building will be aware that the gardens all around are in poor overall condition and it would be great to have these restored. The garden at the rear of the building was turfed and modestly planted following the gym development; this garden is being maintained by volunteers.

The gardens are currently the responsibility of Lambeth Council and they are keen to work in partnership with the users of the building. A gardening group coordinated by the CCT has been meeting and would like to know your views on how to improve the gardens.

A number of factors need to be taken into consideration when planning.  These include:

  • The original layout of the gardens – a number of the original round beds still visible, paths and borders
  • Environmental issues including need for low water use
  • Access for people with disabilities
  • Ease of maintenance
  • The Ferndene Road side garden: a number of drains and power supply run closeto the surface, this may mean using plants with short roots, or as an alternative, raised planters, which would also improve access to gardening for those who have restricted mobility.

CCT will seek funding for the improvements and are keen to know what you would like to see in the garden. Please let us have your thoughts. What would you like the gardens to look like in perhaps 3 years’ time?  If you would like to join the Garden Group let us know in your response.

Please reply either by completing the attached Word document and sending it back by email, or just sending a simple email setting out your thoughts to:

Alternatively, there are paper copies of this consultation in the CCT Post Tray.
Please let us have your views by 31st August.

We look forward to hearing from you, thank you.


2019-07 Garden consultation

John Ruskin at 200 – Launch Party at Carnegie – this Wednesday 3rd July

Join the Friends of Ruskin Park  for a launch party for John Ruskin at 200 – a festival to celebrate the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth by thinking about his life, his ideas, and his relevance to us today.

The launch will be held at Carnegie Library, close to Ruskin Park, which is hosting an exhibition of heritage materials relating to Ruskin’s Denmark Hill, curated by Jon Newman of Lambeth Archives.

Join the Friends of Ruskin Park to raise a glass to Ruskin, to his legacies, and to our community in and around Ruskin Park.

The free event is free, but please book using Eventbrite.

Part of John Ruskin at 200, supported by Arts Council, England and the Maas Gallery.