Feminist Library faces closure

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Feminist Library faces closure

Campaigners are fighting to save London's Feminist Library, which is facing eviction from its home of 30 years.

Southwark Council has told volunteer-led library it must agree to a rent increase or move from it's location on Westminster Bridge Road, near Waterloo. 

The library said the increase was from a peppercorn rent of £12,000 to £30,000. They launched a petition, which has been backed by literary critic and poet Margaret Atwood, and presented it to the council to try and put a stop to the closure. 

Southwark Council said the £12,000 the library is paying is in fact a service charge.

Councillor Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Modernisation at Southwark Council said:

"For the past seven years the Feminist Library hasn't paid any rent for its premises.  Whilst we recognise and appreciate the work that’s been done by the Library, we have a very clear duty to ensure our assets are being managed responsibly, and that we are being fair to other tenants who are paying open market rent. 

"We have offered the Feminist Library a new lease with rent levels that reflect what other organisations in the building are paying. We have also given the library the time to find alternative premises.

"I have personally offered to meet with them to discuss the situation and try to find a way forward that meets both our needs, but at a time when the council's funding from government is being cut by £47m we are simply unable to continue to subsidise their rent."

The library is currently working towards an end of April deadline to find a new premises.

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