March update from the campaign

Kensal Rise Library sunrise
Hi Everyone,

1. We have had a response from the Bursar at All Souls College Oxford,

All Souls College

” I am writing to confirm that All Souls College has contacted the council via its solicitors to inform them that the College would be happy to consider the library being kept open as proposed in the Business Plan prepared by the ‘Friends of Kensal Rise Library, Ltd.”

While this is very good news for us the council remains to be convinced.

We are currently trying to organise a meeting with them to discuss the proposals we submitted in December.

Please don’t contact All Souls as the ball is now quite plainly in Brent’s court, and if any lobbying is to be done it needs to be directed there.

We will keep you updated as soon as we know anything, but it is certainly good to know that All Souls will not object to us keeping the library open.

As a community you are to be thanked for continuing to be solid in your support of the campaign, a long campaign that is not over yet. The fact that All Souls regard the reverter as not being triggered is due to the fact that our library is still a library, and it is still a library because of the magnificent defence put up by this community.

2. Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

We have lodged a submission with the DCMS in response to their ‘minded to’ letter which stated that they would not intervene in the closures of libraries in Brent.

Thank you to all of you who have over the past year written to the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt complaining about the closures. Thousands of people all over Brent have written and collected signatures.

Two of Brent’s three MPs, Barry Gardiner, Brent North Labour and Sarah Teather, Brent Central, Lib Dem, in response to his recent letter have also written to Mr Hunt asking that he have an enquiry into library closures.

One of the strongest points made in submissions was that the minister had met with Brent Council but was not prepared to meet with residents and campaigners.

We await his response, with not much hope, to the many submissions he has received.

Kensal Rise Pop-up Library

3. Pop Up Library

While we try to enter negotiations with Brent over the library it is still very important to keep our pop up library going.

It is not just symbolic, or simply providing a service but it is an unbroken link that for over 100 years expresses the wishes of this community to have a library at it heart.

The community of Kensal Rise has been involved with the library ‘since its inception’, and as well as paying for its erection when it was simply a Reading Room through the library rates that existed at the time also contributed financially, voluntarily. The popularity of the Reading Room led to the extension, which is now the library, being built with a grant from Dr Andrew Carnegie.

As current residents and ratepayers we are the inheritors and guardians of the desire of this community to have a library.

So, if you have an hour to spare you would be very welcome to put your name on the roster. The weather is getting better and it’s often pretty pleasant being out there with Rusty the library cat, and it will be good library experience for when we get inside.

4. Events

Spring activities are being planned and we hope to have details of these soon, and we always welcome any ideas for events.

Regards and gratitude for continuing to keep this campaign strong,

Margaret Bailey

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