For immediate release 7th June 2012
The Save Kensal Rise library campaign has issued an appeal to the Warden and Fellows of All Souls College in Oxford, who may be resuming ownership of the Kensal Rise land they donated in 1900.
In a letter sent to the Warden, Sir John Vickers, and Fellows, they appealed to the college to let the Friends of Kensal Rise Library run a community library in the building.
The College has the power under a section of the Charities Act to transfer the freehold or grant a lease of the building at less than market value to a charitable organisation with similar objects. Because the Friends share the College’s educational objectives, they should be able to benefit from this and continue to use the building as a library.
The transfer of the property to the Friends would restore to the community the library they need and also demonstrate the College’s commitment to education in the broadest sense.
Novelist and campaigner Maggie Gee said: “We believe the Fellows of All Souls College today can afford to honour the gift of their predecessors to Kensal Rise. It is the only library that the great American writer Mark Twain opened. Surely no self-respecting Oxford College would allow it to close.”
Co-Chair of the Campaign Margaret Bailey added, “Our shared commitment to education could be the foundation for an enduring partnership. We hope that the spirit of generosity that moved the college in 1900 resides still with the Fellows”.
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