The next couple of weeks are crucial for the campaign. So I am sending this update to remind everyone of things that need to be done; and some things we can take comfort from.
Firstly, the QUESTIONNAIRE! If you haven’t filled it in yet please remember to do so. Cut-off date is March 4th. You can fill it in online or ask for a copy at the library.
Maggie Gee, Pam Clark and myself had a meeting this week with Munira Mirza, the Mayor of London’s Advisor on Arts and Culture. You may remember that Boris Johnston announced that he was to set up a Libraries Trust for London, so we went to make the case for our library. Due to the library’s high profile the mayor’s office was familiar with our campaign. Any Trust that is set up is at least 12 months away and also depends on London councils being willing to hand over to the mayor’s office the running of their library services. So, however we feel about that it means our library would have to survive until then. Munira wished us well with our campaign and said we had her support.
We’ll just have to watch that space.
The Friends of Kensal Rise Library has now got trustees and is on the way to being set up as a charity. The paperwork is with solicitors and we hope that it will be finalised in the next week or so. As well as giving us a legal identity it will also enable us to fundraise for the benefit of the library.
We have again been in touch with All Souls College and in their letter of 24 February they say they ‘would be delighted to see [the library] flourish in the future’ and ‘hope the local residents and the Council can work together to ensure that happens.’
We hope so too.
The next Full Council meeting where the Budget is agreed (or not) is on Monday 28th February at the Town Hall at 7pm. Come along and make your feelings about the proposed library closures known. Thank you to everyone who has been contacting councillors to ask them either to abstain or vote against closures. It looks as if amendments against the budget will not be heard as the council is determined to proceed with plans for closures and plans to lump all amendments together and with a vote only on a procedural motion (that they will be dealt with together) exclude the possibility that dissenting councillors may only vote for or against the budget but will not be able to vote against closures. Not very democratic.
Coming up is the Zadie Smith literary event at the Paradise on March 29. If you haven’t got your tickets yet you can buy them (£7 or £5 concessions) from L’Angolos deli in College Rd, Minkie’s deli in Chamberlayne Rd or Queens Park Books in Salusbury Rd. I’m sure this will be an entertaining evening. Come along and show your support for the campaign.
We are also planning to have an event a little less ‘high brow’ than the Quiz Night and Literary Evening, more a ‘meet your campaigning neighbours’, with music, a little bit of dancing (to get rid of that pent up anger at the council etc) and no doubt rousing speeches (maybe). Will keep you informed of this as it is organised.
Finally, thanks again to everyone for remaining solid and continuing to support the campaign, and sending lovely supportive emails.
Apart from the library issue it has been a good time to be living in Kensal Green/Kensal Rise, so much goodwill and chat.