Library cafe set to close as it is deemed "not financially viable" by Sutton Council

Sutton Guardian: Library cafe set to close as it is deemed "not financially viable" by Sutton Council Library cafe set to close as it is deemed "not financially viable" by Sutton Council

A popular library coffee shop is set to close as it is "no longer financially viable".

The café at Sutton Central Library in St Nicholas Way, which is run as a joint venture between Sutton Council and Sutton College of Learning for Adults (SCOLA), serves cut-price refreshments and snacks to library users.

But, at the end of the month, it is due to close - although the council has pledged to work to find an alternative way of providing the service.

A joint statement from SCOLA and the council said: "The coffee shop in Sutton Library is run through a partnership between SCOLA and Sutton Council.

"Unfortunately the coffee shop is no longer financially viable, so the facility will close at the end of March.                                                                                        

"The coffee shop is an important community hub and the council is exploring alternative options for providing this service."

Service users - including a councillor - have criticised the move.

Justine Brown, who regularly visits the café, said: "It's a real shame, it's such a nice café. They're saying they aren't making money and that will mean three people are made redundant, but I would have thought there should be a way to save it.

"A cup of tea only costs a pound there - maybe they could raise the prices? That would be better than closing it altogether."

Councillor Tony Shields became aware of the planned closure when he went in for his breakfast on Tuesday. He said: "It's a shocker. The council has thousands of pounds to keep the Life Centre going but it can't keep a café that people are actually using open? It doesn't make sense.

"I'm not in here every day but I come in every now and again and there are always people here."

Do you use the library café? How do you feel about it closing? Contact reporter Mike Pyle on 0208 722 6359 or mike.pyle@london.newsquest.co.uk.

Comments (16)

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12:38pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Neil78 says...

More Lib Dem cuts.
More Lib Dem cuts. Neil78
  • Score: -20

1:11pm Tue 25 Mar 14

LiberalsOut says...

It is that important they are closing it
Yet another decision by the Council that does not make sense
It is that important they are closing it Yet another decision by the Council that does not make sense LiberalsOut
  • Score: -20

2:07pm Tue 25 Mar 14

theavengers says...

more job losses and when these people lose their jobs and have to take benefit they will be treated like lepers. funny how lack of jobs and security means people are treated like garbage. it's not just another closure, it's peoples lives.
more job losses and when these people lose their jobs and have to take benefit they will be treated like lepers. funny how lack of jobs and security means people are treated like garbage. it's not just another closure, it's peoples lives. theavengers
  • Score: -15

2:25pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Giles C says...

So we can give 70k to Chelsea,210k to Crystal Palace but not keep this community cafe going which employs people with learning difficulties..

Shame on you Dombey,Mccoy et al
So we can give 70k to Chelsea,210k to Crystal Palace but not keep this community cafe going which employs people with learning difficulties.. Shame on you Dombey,Mccoy et al Giles C
  • Score: -14

2:45pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Mr Flange of Wallington says...

It will surely get re-opened after the May local elections.
It will surely get re-opened after the May local elections. Mr Flange of Wallington
  • Score: -22

3:57pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Michael Pantlin says...

I've enjoyed many jacket potatoes with curried chick peas.The press article already makes the comment I was about to add that Sutton Life Centre pet project is not financially viable but that has never stopped the Lib Demons from syphoning in public money to keep it on Life Support.
I've enjoyed many jacket potatoes with curried chick peas.The press article already makes the comment I was about to add that Sutton Life Centre pet project is not financially viable but that has never stopped the Lib Demons from syphoning in public money to keep it on Life Support. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: -10

4:21pm Tue 25 Mar 14

A Guest says...

I use this cafe regularly and think it is a real shame it is closing. The staff are very friendly and welcoming and will be missed.
I use this cafe regularly and think it is a real shame it is closing. The staff are very friendly and welcoming and will be missed. A Guest
  • Score: 42

11:18pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Michael Pantlin says...

Modern libraries with all their IT and automatic systems can feel a social desert. Shutting down the warmth of the cafe will make it a more barren environment. I suppose the council's alternative would be to run it with unpaid volunteers under a Friends of Sutton Library initiative or a vending machine which does away with the personal touch?
Modern libraries with all their IT and automatic systems can feel a social desert. Shutting down the warmth of the cafe will make it a more barren environment. I suppose the council's alternative would be to run it with unpaid volunteers under a Friends of Sutton Library initiative or a vending machine which does away with the personal touch? Michael Pantlin
  • Score: -23

2:35pm Wed 26 Mar 14

David7 says...

Best thing to do is shut down the LibDems when it comes to voting in May.
Best thing to do is shut down the LibDems when it comes to voting in May. David7
  • Score: -29

3:14pm Wed 26 Mar 14

ResidentTony says...

The brilliant cental library cafe should of course stay open, with slightly higher prices if necessary and a good advertising/promotio
n campaign to ensure more people know about it.

PS the Life Centre is brilliant too, and could also do with better, far more effective promotion (not necessarily paid advertising). Only the Lib Dems, Greens or Labour could be trusted to do this. Boring old **** UKIP and Tories would just close it down, which would be very sad.
The brilliant cental library cafe should of course stay open, with slightly higher prices if necessary and a good advertising/promotio n campaign to ensure more people know about it. PS the Life Centre is brilliant too, and could also do with better, far more effective promotion (not necessarily paid advertising). Only the Lib Dems, Greens or Labour could be trusted to do this. Boring old **** UKIP and Tories would just close it down, which would be very sad. ResidentTony
  • Score: 33

9:37pm Wed 26 Mar 14

A Leeson-Mayne says...

It is a terrible shame that such a valuable community service is being lost without any consultation. I regularly use the cafe and was not aware of the closure until it had already been decided. I feel there are plenty of things that could have been tried to make it more financially viable before closing, such as changing prices and making more local people aware of its existence. If people going to coffee shops in Sutton knew it was there some of them would chose a much cheaper, friendly place where people with learning difficulties are supported.
It is a terrible shame that such a valuable community service is being lost without any consultation. I regularly use the cafe and was not aware of the closure until it had already been decided. I feel there are plenty of things that could have been tried to make it more financially viable before closing, such as changing prices and making more local people aware of its existence. If people going to coffee shops in Sutton knew it was there some of them would chose a much cheaper, friendly place where people with learning difficulties are supported. A Leeson-Mayne
  • Score: 34

5:01am Fri 28 Mar 14

Giles C says...

ResidentTony wrote:
The brilliant cental library cafe should of course stay open, with slightly higher prices if necessary and a good advertising/promotio

n campaign to ensure more people know about it.

PS the Life Centre is brilliant too, and could also do with better, far more effective promotion (not necessarily paid advertising). Only the Lib Dems, Greens or Labour could be trusted to do this. Boring old **** UKIP and Tories would just close it down, which would be very sad.
Yes let's throw even more money at the failing life centre shall we..
500k a year subsidy can't make it financially viable so how about giving it 600k a year instead?
As for the cafe it could have sayed open with just a 5k subsidy but no let's put all the councils eggs in the life centre ..
What morons..
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: The brilliant cental library cafe should of course stay open, with slightly higher prices if necessary and a good advertising/promotio n campaign to ensure more people know about it. PS the Life Centre is brilliant too, and could also do with better, far more effective promotion (not necessarily paid advertising). Only the Lib Dems, Greens or Labour could be trusted to do this. Boring old **** UKIP and Tories would just close it down, which would be very sad.[/p][/quote]Yes let's throw even more money at the failing life centre shall we.. 500k a year subsidy can't make it financially viable so how about giving it 600k a year instead? As for the cafe it could have sayed open with just a 5k subsidy but no let's put all the councils eggs in the life centre .. What morons.. Giles C
  • Score: -15

7:28am Fri 28 Mar 14

Giles C says...

ResidentTony wrote:
The brilliant cental library cafe should of course stay open, with slightly higher prices if necessary and a good advertising/promotio

n campaign to ensure more people know about it.

PS the Life Centre is brilliant too, and could also do with better, far more effective promotion (not necessarily paid advertising). Only the Lib Dems, Greens or Labour could be trusted to do this. Boring old **** UKIP and Tories would just close it down, which would be very sad.
Guess what Resident Tony..
The money used for the anti-litter stunt in Sutton High street could have kept that cafe open for another year...and with it the youngsters from SCILL who used to work there could have continued to learn life skills and interact with the public...
So much for the "fairer" Lib Dems..
C'mon Tony try to justify that..
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: The brilliant cental library cafe should of course stay open, with slightly higher prices if necessary and a good advertising/promotio n campaign to ensure more people know about it. PS the Life Centre is brilliant too, and could also do with better, far more effective promotion (not necessarily paid advertising). Only the Lib Dems, Greens or Labour could be trusted to do this. Boring old **** UKIP and Tories would just close it down, which would be very sad.[/p][/quote]Guess what Resident Tony.. The money used for the anti-litter stunt in Sutton High street could have kept that cafe open for another year...and with it the youngsters from SCILL who used to work there could have continued to learn life skills and interact with the public... So much for the "fairer" Lib Dems.. C'mon Tony try to justify that.. Giles C
  • Score: -15

8:02am Fri 28 Mar 14

AndyLikeGandhi says...

Mr Flange of Wallington wrote:
It will surely get re-opened after the May local elections.
...depends who's running the council by then...
[quote][p][bold]Mr Flange of Wallington[/bold] wrote: It will surely get re-opened after the May local elections.[/p][/quote]...depends who's running the council by then... AndyLikeGandhi
  • Score: -5

1:33am Sat 29 Mar 14

ResidentTony says...

The Life Centre is actually one of the best things about Sutton. It is truly EXCELLENT. It does need a lot more positive promotion, though, to ensure it gets all the custom it deserves. Talking it down won't help one iota, unless you're a Tory campaign manager and read the Daily Fail, the rag for boring old farrts.
The Life Centre is actually one of the best things about Sutton. It is truly EXCELLENT. It does need a lot more positive promotion, though, to ensure it gets all the custom it deserves. Talking it down won't help one iota, unless you're a Tory campaign manager and read the Daily Fail, the rag for boring old farrts. ResidentTony
  • Score: 13

9:40am Sun 30 Mar 14

Giles C says...

ResidentTony wrote:
The Life Centre is actually one of the best things about Sutton. It is truly EXCELLENT. It does need a lot more positive promotion, though, to ensure it gets all the custom it deserves. Talking it down won't help one iota, unless you're a Tory campaign manager and read the Daily Fail, the rag for boring old farrts.
Ferraris are great as are AAston Martins but if you can't afford them then you can't buy them and this is the case with the Life Centre...
It's about priorities and the Lib Dem administration have decided that it's more important than many of their statutory obligations.
I see the thumbs up trolling brigade are back...
By the way Tony which ward are you standing in for them on may 22nd?
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: The Life Centre is actually one of the best things about Sutton. It is truly EXCELLENT. It does need a lot more positive promotion, though, to ensure it gets all the custom it deserves. Talking it down won't help one iota, unless you're a Tory campaign manager and read the Daily Fail, the rag for boring old farrts.[/p][/quote]Ferraris are great as are AAston Martins but if you can't afford them then you can't buy them and this is the case with the Life Centre... It's about priorities and the Lib Dem administration have decided that it's more important than many of their statutory obligations. I see the thumbs up trolling brigade are back... By the way Tony which ward are you standing in for them on may 22nd? Giles C
  • Score: -4

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