Thursday, April 8, 2010

Peckham Library’s 10 years of Environmentally Destructive Waste

Press-release from Southwark Eco-Angels, taking action on energy wastage in my old stamping ground of Peckham. Possibly an action which could be imitated in other areas? And I like the fact it's a Friends of the Earth-Greenpeace co-production!

Leading light Donnachadh McCarthy's own eco-auditing website is here, if you'd like a closer look.

Giant Cheque Burning Protest –

Peckham Library’s 10 years of Environmentally Destructive Waste

Saturday 10th April 2.30pm

On Saturday 10th April, Britain’s first public protest against council energy wastage will take place outside the Peckham Library.

A giant cheque written on behalf of Southwark Council-Tax Payers to Peckham Library for £100,000 representing the money estimated to have been wasted on energy in the ten years since the Library opened, will be formally burned to represent Southwark Council’s record on wastage over the last 10 years.

This year represents the tenth anniversary for the iconic Will Allsop designed Library.

It is also exactly a year since the Peckham Library was exposed in the press for scandalously wasteful energy practices.

So what happened following the press scandal? Did Southwark councillors or librarians take immediate action to stop the waste of council tax, energy and CO2?

Sadly nothing whatsoever was done. Indeed, according to a Freedom of Information request carried out last month on behalf of Eco-Angels Southwark, the energy bill has rocketed another 25%.

In 2009/10 this one Library consumed £42,000 of taxpayers’ money to heat and light it, up from £32,000 in 2008/9.

When Eco-Angels Southwark visited the Library last week they found:

· Despite it being 8C outside on a cold spring day, 18 windows were open in the centrally heated building.

· The temperature in the main library was a sweltering 23.3C. The CIBSE recommended temperature is 19C. Every one degree above 19C, costs an extra 10% in energy and money. Thus heating the library to 23.3C, wastes a whopping 43.3% of the heating bill.

· Lighting was on in all the naturally lit areas of the library.

· The floodlights outside the library remain on 24 hours a day.

· Halogen Lamps which are the most wasteful bulbs possible remain in use at the reception.

From these facts, it is clear that the library is wasting at least a third of its energy consumption. Therefore over £10,000 a year in today’s terms has been wasted every year the library has been open. This adds up to more than £100,000.

As this waste has gone on under Labour, Lib Dem and Tory administrations in Southwark, all three party leaders and local MPs have been invited to witness the Giant Cheque Burning outside the library on Saturday, as well as members of the general public.

Eco-Angels Southwark spokesperson Donnachadh McCarthy said “Southwark’s libraries are scandalously wasting tax-payers money and helping to destroy our children’s future by this senseless environmental destruction.
Libraries should be leading our children by example. Our libraries should be carbon angels not carbon vandals. We need our libraries to be carbon negative now!”

Note: Eco Angels Southwark is being organised by a group of local members of Greenpeace Southwark and Friends of the Earth Southwark.

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