January 2013 update

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year!

1. We are in discussions at the moment with the developer Andrew Gillick of Platinum Revolver, and his architect.

Mr Gillick is the developer that All Souls College have chosen to sell the library to.

We have sent to them a list of what we believe we would need in the library so that the needs of all the community are met and which also allows for revenue raising activities.

This offer, at the moment, involves the building of six flats in the library with just over one third of the downstairs space for a library.
We are negotiating about the space as we don’t think it offers the best deal for the community, although a rent free space which is part of the offer is to be welcomed. This ‘generosity’ needs to be kept in perspective. Both the Developer and the College will make a profit if the sale proceeds.
The developer also will need to apply for planning permission to change the present D1 use of the building (from community use to residential). Opinion is mixed about this offer including the building of flats in a community space.
When we have a firm proposal from the developer we will be holding a public meeting to discuss the details of the offer with you.
2. Community Right to Bid
Last month Brent Council accepted our nomination to have the Kensal Rise Library Building listed as a community asset.
All Souls College made representations to the Council arguing against the inclusion of the library building as a community asset. Since then correspondence has been going back and forth between the two, the details of which we may know by the end of next week.
The College may be challenging some aspect of the inclusion. Who knows?
Ordinarily, when a building is placed on a council’s list of community assets it means that the community has the right to make a bid for the building. A moratorium is placed on the sale of the building for six months in which time the community has time to prepare and make a bid for the building. The owner is not obliged to sell to the community, however the community is in with a chance. Hopefully, the position will be somewhat clearer by the end of next week.
In the meantime, in preparation, we are investigating ways in which communities are being helped to bid for assets in their communities. and we will also be discussing these at the public meeting.
3. Charitable Trust
We are taking some advice about whether there is a charitable constructive trust affecting the library because of the substantial financial contributions made by Andrew Carnegie the Scottish philanthropist and local people at the time that it was built.
If a Trust has been created it could potentially mean that the community is entitled to a share of the sale of the building.
Both the developer and All Souls have been made aware of this.
4. National Libraries Day – February 9th 2013
We are planning an event to celebrate National Libraries Day. There will be many events across the country to celebrate the importance of libraries, many by communities like ours who have had their libraries closed or who are campaigning to maintain their library service.
We will have details next week.
5. E-Books from Bilbary.com on the Save Kensal Rise Library website
Don’t forget you can buy e books through our website through the partnership we have with Bilbary.com.
Bilbary is an online ebook store compatible with your computer, tablet, smart phone and e-reader.
All proceeds go to the library.
Just log on to our website www.savekensalriselibrary.org and click on the Bilbary button.
6. Pop up library
If you think you are are hard enough and can bear the cold we are having a bit of a tidy at the pop up this weekend, Saturday 19th January from about 12noon.
While on the subject of the pop up, thank you to those wonderful volunteers who are so brilliantly keeping the pop up library going. Your commitment is truly remarkable and inspirational.
If anything shows how serious this community is about having a library the maintenance of the pop up certainly comes tops.
Here’s hoping this third year of the campaign to save the library will truly, and soon,  give this community the reward it deserves for continuing to support the campaign.
No doubt about it, it has been, and is, tough but hopefully together we will achieve a library this community can be proud of.
Margaret Bailey

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