Don’t be taking those posters down from your windows just yet. The fight goes on.
Our public meeting was well attended on the 14 April and there was a lot of constructive discussion about where we are, and what our plans are now.
Most interesting at the meeting was to hear the Chair of the Labour Party of Kensal Green Ward (this is the ward of Cllr Powney Lead Member for Libraries). Members support our campaign and indeed some people have said they would rather leave the party than support what councillors are doing with the libraries. There seems to be a lot of disagreement with what the lead members of the council are doing. If the Labour Party are thinking of not nominating Cllr Powney for selection in the Kensal Green Ward we’re with them and we won’t forget. Keep up the pressure members of the Labour Party, and so will we!
Thank you to the scouts for letting us have our public meeting in their hall.
As discussed and agreed at the meeting there is likely to be a legal challenge to the council’s decision to close six libraries, by way of a judicial review. A pre-action letter will be going off in the next day or two from solicitors. There are two claimants who are eligible for legal aid, but the legal services commission are asking for a “community contribution” of £30,000 as the whole community would benefit from a successful challenge. We will be joining forces with the other six threatened libraries to raise this money, in the Brent S.O.S. Libraries Campaign: Save Our Six Libraries. John Halford, an experienced public law solicitor at Bindmans, is acting. We’ll keep you updated about this because we will need lots of help raising our share. We are planning fundraisers as well.
We now have a ‘volunteer’ to work with all the people who have offered to volunteer to keep the library going. She will be contacting you all shortly. Thanks to all of you who have offered your time. Very generous.
There will be a Queens Park Literary Festival in June and we hope to have a stall there with information about the campaign (who knows what will have happened between now and then). I will circulate the exact date when I have it and it will be good to see lots of you there.
We also hope to have a stall at the Queens Park Community School Summer Fair, and we are planning some fundraisers and social events. Would be good to have an event where we can have a bit of a chat.
There is a Scrutiny Meeting on 27th April at the Town Hall. This is a meeting where decisions made by the council are looked at and given the ok or not. We are not expecting great things but it is another opportunity to let the council know how we feel about their decision about the libraries in Brent. Kensal Rise Library Campaign will have a speaker there so come and show your support.
We still have to keep the pressure on the council so, if you can bear it, continue to write to councillors and let them know how you feel about their decision to close our library. We will be printing some postcards soon and these can be sent to the Secretary of State and the Minister for Culture. We need to keep the pressure on there too and don’t forget our MPs Sara Teather and Glenda Jackson. The postcards should be available after Easter. We’ll let you know how you can get them.
We still need people who have experience with writing fundraising applications, to The big Lottery and Charities and Trusts. If this is you please get in touch.
Thanks again to everyone for your continued support and involvement, this is definitely not the time to falter. The pressure we have been applying is having an effect.
Have a good Easter.