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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2008, 13:41 GMT
Children's museum will be closed
Livesey Museum
Between 30 and 40 schools use the Livesey Museum
A children's museum in south-east London is to close its doors next week because of a funding crisis.

The Livesey Museum, in Peckham, was built in 1974 but Southwark Council said it can no longer afford to pay 146,000 annually to keep it going.

The council added it was also forced to cut services for the elderly and vulnerable to bridge a 35m shortfall.

Campaigners said the interactive museum provided an essential teaching centre for children aged five to 10.

The museum, which is regularly used by up to 40 schools, puts on a different exhibition every nine months.

'Cuts package'

It will close on 29 February after a vote by the council on Wednesday evening.

Leader of Southwark Council councillor Nick Stanton said: "We are putting up meals on wheels charges; we will be closing some early years centres. It's part of a large package of cuts we are having to make."

He added: "We had to set a budget last night and there is limit to what we can do, and there is a limit to how much meaningful consultation there could be."

A Communities and Local Government spokesperson said there was no need for cutting services as next year London councils would receive an increase in core funding of 93m.

"Far from suffering a shortfall Southwark Council will benefit from a 2% increase in core funding and a 9.2m increase in all grants," the spokesperson said.

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