A proposal to cut £450,000 from Lewisham’s library service is off the table - but future cuts have not been ruled out.

Proposals to cut staff hours in 2020 were put on hold while the authority looked into whether rented council housing on the Lewisham Library site could help pay for a new library.

Lewisham Council is making a number of cuts to its services as it looks to cut £30m from its budget by 2021 following cuts in government funding.

But the authority will now work up a new proposal to plug the hole in the library budget, after development proposals were not found to make enough income.

In the meantime it will fix the urgent problems with the Lewisham Library building – including its leaking roof, which are threatening its archives. 

And a new library could come forward either as part of the Catford redevelopment, or another future development, according to a council report.

Cllr Jonathan Slater, cabinet member for the community sector, said: “Officers will continue to explore options for improvements for the building with any future revenue cuts considered alongside all other proposals for setting the budget for 2020/21.”

A spokesperson for the Save Lewisham Libraries campaign said they were disappointed no new library will be built in the near future, but were pleased repairs will go ahead after “years of neglect.”

She said the campaign will continue to fight against cuts to library staff, with no assurances there won’t be job cuts in the future.

The Lewisham library building was converted from a 1960s telephone exchange in the 1990s.

Proposals to build housing on the site still left a deficit of between £1.2m and £5.6m, a gap the cash-strapped council can’t fill “given the current resources and commitments,” according to documents.

The authority has lost nine out of 13 council-run libraries over the last decade, which are now run by volunteers.