Brent Council Leader Ann John is under the most intense pressure yet, as her own party leader has slammed library closures. Speaking out, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said:
I believe that to close libraries is a false economy and a very cheap option to save money.
It is most unfortunate that libraries always seem to be at the forefront of any cuts in local expenditure.
I believe that libraries are, and should be, an essential part of our lives, and are vital to our communities and can be a central focus point for an area. A library can help enrich people’s lives, and so many other services can also come from a library. [Source]
Councillor Ann John is already under huge pressure following her party’s decision to vote a motion of no confidence in her council executive.
Now residents are urging Mr Miliband to clamp down on Councillor Ann John, who plans to close down Kensal Rise Library which is situated in an area with one of the highest child illiteracy rates in the capital.
Zadie Smith has spoken out about how important Brent’s libraries were whilst she was growing up, and Alan Bennett has described Ann John’s actions as tantamount to “child abuse”. The campaign has received widespread coverage, from the Wall Street Journal to BBC and ITV news, and almost every national UK newspaper.
Residents are continuing to urge Councillor Ann John to join the fight against child illiteracy in London and save Kensal Rise Library.
Philip Pullman will be raising funds for the campaign at an event on Wednesday 20th July.