STATEMENT BY BRENT SOS LIBRARIES CAMPAIGN

High Court Protest 2Our legal team presented compelling evidence of damage to communities from Brent Council’s library closures, so we are disappointed that the appeal judges have not found in our favour.

Closing half of our libraries has had a devastating effect on the most vulnerable members of our community, among them children and families, the elderly, the disabled and those unemployed or on low incomes.

Brent has always had the means to keep these libraries open, it just lacks the will. The overwhelming strength of public feeling over the last year shows that communities need, want and will support local libraries.

Secretary of state Jeremy Hunt has so far held back pending the outcome of this test case. The thousands of letters and petitions he has received demonstrate that Brent is neglecting its duties under the Libraries and Museums Act, and he must now call hold a public inquiry into the actions of this council. Brent SOS Libraries campaign will also present evidence to the select committee that clearly demonstrates Brent’s failures.

We are grateful to the excellent and committed work on behalf of the community of our legal team, John Halford, Dinah Rose, Gerry Facenna and Edward Craven, and are taking their advice on our options in the light of this judgment.

5 Comments

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  • Kibbat7

    I absolutely cannot countenance the closing of a small, but intimate and much loved community hub of access to the written word and collective culture and the spending of £3million on a central, impersonal unwanted library which no one has requested nor needs.  Surely this is an act of derision on the part of the Councilors of Brent on the talents and intelligence of the local people and community.  

    Some of our libraries have an unbroken tradition, going back over a century, of taking education and learning to the community and this chain is about to be trashed and snatched from succeeding generations!   If I were a Councilor I could not bear such shame as to be in office when this happens on my ‘watch’ and not to defend the strong will the people but to ignore them.   There is no will, because for sure there is a way there to augment the current libraries to ensure their survival – albeit at the expense of a library which no body wants – apart from the Council who feel they need a flagship library to flaunt their profligacy!

    Burn the new library – NO BODY WANTS IT!   I empathise with anyone who feels this is a Kafka’esque country we are slipping into and feels so angry they might lose their senses and find themselves rioting!   Nothing else seems to bring our policy makers to their senses!

    Sharly Kibbat

    • http://twitter.com/WembleyMatters Martin Francis

      The Civic Centre library is close to Wembley Stadium and with an increasing number of events at the stadium (to pay for building it) people are unlikely to battle thousand of football fans on a Saturday to access it  – or it may be officially closed on match/event days.

      The Town Hall Library which it will replace is close to Chalkhill Primary School and the Chalkhill Estate – a school and estate that needs easy access to a library. Older primary  pupils who presently use the Town Hall library independently will not be able to get to the Civic Centre under their own steam. Parents who combine shopping at ASDA with a trip to the library opposite the store will lose out as will secondary pupils from the nearby ARK Academy and Preston Manor schools.

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