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Public Consultation

 The Friends of Kensal Rise Library invite you to the




Saturday 14th March 2015

1pm to 4pm (drop in)

 The Long Room, St Martin’s Church,

Mortimer Road, NW10

(2 mins from Kensal Green Tube Station)

 The Friends of Kensal Rise Library will have a rent free space for a community library on the ground floor of the library building. We want to hear your views on how it should be designed and used.

 Our award winning architects, Shepheard Epstein Hunter, have experience in public library design and community consultation, with projects including Enfield Town Library, Fore Street Library in Edmonton and Clapton Library in Hackney. Steven Pidwell, Director and Chairman of the practice, has particular experience in library design and will be available at the public consultation to discuss the proposals.


Refreshments                              Activities for children

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  1. Sale of the Kensal Rise Library Building:

    Knight Frank, a London estate agent and global property consultancy, was at the end of last month marketing the Kensal Rise Library building, but has now withdrawn the offer of sale from its website. Unconditional offers had been invited in excess of £1.25 million with bids closing on 26th February. No sale can be completed until after May 2015 when the Asset of Community Value moratorium period on the sale of the building ends.

    As an inducement to buyers it stated in the Knight Frank marketing information:

    Subject to obtaining the necessary permission, there is an
    opportunity to reduce the size of the D1 space, to secure
    planning for an additional residential apartment.

    This would mean that whoever buys the building, and decides to reduce the D1 community space, would need to appeal last year’s decision of Brent planning officers and committee to grant 186m2 for the use of the community.

    The previous planning application of the developer was rejected for many reasons but the space offered then (in the region of 139.35 m2) was rejected on the grounds that it was inadequate to compensate the community for the loss of the entire building.

    Not only will the building be sold with the current planning decision but also the lease arrangement with All Souls College for the D1 space (999 years).

    We would hope that any new owner would wish to work with residents and not reduce the space reserved for community use.

    FKRL wrote to Knight Frank this week to inform them that it would oppose any reduction in the community space.

    We have spoken to some of the developers who have expressed an interest in the building. As the intended tenants of the D1 space, as per our agreement with All Souls College, we recognise the necessity of a good relationship with whoever owns the building and we have been pleased that a number of the developers have indicated their willingness to work with us and the community.

    We have also been exploring other options around buying the building, a move we cannot go into lightly – not only are there the costs of buying the building but also the refurbishment costs need to be added, and in addition the fitting out of the library and community space.

    We would dearly love the entire building to belong to the community but we must be realistic about what that entails – we will keep you updated on our progress regarding this option. Thank you for sending us your ideas about the building, all of which we will explore. We will not be rejecting any offers from benefactors!

    FKRL remain focused on achieving our aim, that of getting a library in the building for our community and we thank the community for the continuing support over this very long campaign.


  2. Social Investment Bank Grant – Public consultation about the community space:

    While we wait for ownership to be sorted (the campaign is in its fifth year – we have learnt patience) we have applied for and been awarded a small grant by the Social Investment Bank. We will use this grant to analyse the sustainability of the space offered for a library and community space and also to visit other Community Libraries to research good practice. We are planning a public consultation where we will report back to the community. Residents will be able to view plans and make their own suggestions. This public consultation will be informed by the input of a firm of architects who not only have previous library experience but have also supported the campaign: they contributed to our 70- page objection document against the developer’s first planning application..

    We hope our architects will inspire, reflect and incorporate residents’ ideas and most importantly help us ascertain the sustainability of the space.

    This consultation is planned for Saturday March 14th 1-4pm in the Long Room behind St Martin’s Church in Mortimer Rd, NW10.

    Thank you to the Rev Graham Noyce for continuing to be supportive of FKRL and the campaign.


  3. Launch of the FKRL Partnership with Queens Park Community School

    This will be held on Friday 17th April at the school. This will not only be part of our consultation with residents but marks publicly the really significant partnership we have made with the school. We were very pleased last year when the Head, Mr Mike Hulme became a Trustee of FKRL.

    The school has been very supportive of the campaign and very generous with its resources and we plan to work closely with staff and students there to ensure that the library and its future are secure.

    We will be having music and refreshments and also presenting an exhibition based on our 14th March public consultation and a photographic exhibition of the campaign.

    We hope as many of you as possible will support these events. FKRL has managed to stay focused on its aims and this has been due to the support the campaign has had and continues to have.

    A celebration of hope is a worthy one.



    Margaret Bailey







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December 2014 Update

December Update 2014

Letter from All Souls College to the Friends of Kensal Rise Library
Hi Everyone,
We understand that you may be confused and concerned by the latest turn of events – the auction of the library.
The library building may or may not have a new owner.
The focus of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library has always been, and will continue to be, to work for the establishment of a library in the Kensal Rise Library building. We remain focused on this intention and our resolve is strengthened by the on-going support of the Kensal Rise/Kensal Green community – we are gratified by the trust the community places in us and are heartened by the many messages of support we continue to receive.
We received a letter on the 16th December from All Souls College, who, by the terms of their sale to Andrew Gillick, retain control of the D1 community space, whoever is the owner of the building.
Any subsequent owner of the freehold of the library inherits this obligation regarding the D1 space. Below is the letter we have received from All Souls College.
Margaret Bailey

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November 2014 Update

November Update

Disposal of the Kensal Rise Library Building

The Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) has been notified by the Council of the owner’s intention to dispose of the Kensal Rise Library building. As the building is an Asset of Community Value the owner is obliged to inform the Council of any intention to dispose of the building. This can be a ‘disposal’ (sale) of any part of the building (including a lease of more than 25 years).

The Council is obliged by the Localism Act (2011) to notify the community of this intention to dispose. The D1 space is guaranteed by the planning permission granted in July of this year and by the S106 agreement recently signed by the council and the owner.
All Souls College has retained control of the D1 space and any ‘disposal’ by the owner has with it the ‘encumbrance’ of the decision of planning, including the D1 space.

As the College still states on its website,

 The College has sold both buildings (Kensal Rise Library and Cricklewood Library) to a commercial developer on condition that a certain amount of space in each building is leased on a rent-free basis for 999 years to enable continued provision of library services to the residents of both Cricklewood and Kensal Rise once the development has been completed.
The College hopes that the Friends (of Cricklewood) and Kensal Rise Libraries will become the operators of these new library facilities and plans to offer both groups leases which will also be rent-free. The College has retained long-term control over the space allocated to it in each building so that it cannot be changed from the provision of library services without its permission.

Any new owner who wanted to change the decision of the Planning Committee would need to submit a new planning application.

Any Community Interest Group can potentially submit a bid – as FKRL has for the D1 space.

FKRL remain committed to establishing a library and community space in the building and is prepared to work with whoever is the owner of the building.

Nearly in our fifth year of campaigning – we don’t give up.
C&D Food and Wines College Road.

The planning application for the corner shop will be considered at the Planning Committee at 7.00pm on 10 December, 2014 at Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley.

On 6 December, 2014 at approximately 11:35 a.m. members of the Committee will visit the site and of course everyone is welcome to attend.

The early advice from planning officers is to grant consent but as enough objections were raised the decision will go to the full Planning Committee on 10th December.

Cllr Mat Kelcher for Kensal Green Ward will be speaking against the plans and hopes that as many local people as possible will show support by attending the planning meeting.

The link to the planning application is:


Save Kensal Rise Library Christmas Cards

Our annual campaign Christmas cards will go on sale tomorrow at C&D Food and Wines College Road.

£5 for a pack of ten –  beautifully designed by Allen and Laura.

Support the campaign and spread a little seasonal joy.



Margaret Bailey

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Hi Everyone,

  1. Planning Permission Progress

    Although planning consent was given at the July planning meeting to develop the library, the Section10 6 agreement between the developer and the council has yet to be finalised.  The Section 106 is an agreement where a developer has to provide contributions to offset negative impacts caused by construction and development (affordable homes with a large development, new open space, funding extra schools places, etc). The developer implements these or makes payment to the council for them to be carried out. We have heard from Brent’s planning legal officer that the agreement may be sorted and signed in the next week. We may then know when work will begin on the library building.

  2. FKRL has three new Trustees: Mike Hulme,  Headteacher at Queens Park Community School; Karl Hemsley (former Librarian at Kensal Rise and Kilburn Libraries) and Anthony Bennett , local resident, who joins our Finance Sub-Group. These are great additions to our team and we welcome them and their expertise.
  3. FKRL and QPCS Partnership: we will be formally launching the partnership in February next year with a celebratory musical evening and photographic display at Queens Park Community School (that would be a dancing musical evening with contributions from within and without the school). We are looking forward to working with Mike Hulme and the school community, not just for their support but for sharing their expertise and having the involvement of their young people. We will be having one of the students as a Trustee also and hope this promotes the involvement of students from the school not just in using the library and community space but taking ownership and having a say in how it is run.
  4. Library Users Forum – Brent Civic Centre 9th October;

    This forum for users of libraries in Brent aims to encourage residents to have a say in the library service. It has also become a forum where the prospective community libraries in Brent get to discuss the possibility of sharing resources and expertise with the local authority.

    Apart from members of the other library campaigns in Brent (Barham, Preston Rd and Cricklewood), James Denselow (Brent Cabinet Lead Member for Stronger Communities which includes Libraries) and Sue McKenzie (Head of Brent Library Service) were present and the Lead Officer for Libraries in Buckinghamshire, David Jones (who used to work in Brent libraries and Kensal Rise Library.
    One of the important subjects discussed was the exploration of what could be shared by the Brent Library Service and Community Libraries. This is very important for us because part of our future success, I believe, will be the extent to which we are able to develop a good working relationship with the Brent library service – maybe not financial (as such), but, sharing services, contracts for outreach services, volunteers, training and being part of their lending and IT services could save us a lot of headaches (and finance) and be very significant for our operation of a community library.
    There was a very good discussion about community libraries and the lead officer from the Buckinghamshire Library Service spoke about the relationship between community libraries and the statutory service in Bucks and presented a model that Brent could become interested in.
    It was an extremely positive meeting and we are due to meet with Sue McKenzie to explore ways in which the Brent Library Service could offer us assistance and the potential for mutually beneficial exchanges.
    This is indeed progress from the day when she stripped our library of its books etc and could mean a great deal to the future of Community Libraries in Brent.

  5. C&D Food and Wine and more flats for the neighbourhood?

    A planning application has been submitted to the council to turn our corner shop on the corner of College Rd and Clifford Gardens into a flat.

    This is causing a lot of anger in the neighbourhood and rightly so. We do not need more flats in an already densely overcrowded neighbourhood but we do need services and facilities for the community.

    Both the Patels, Jaymini and Pritesh, who have been part of our community and provided a great service for over 15 years are also strong supporters of the library campaign.

    If you want to object please contact Brent Planning.

    Comments close on 29th October!!!!!

    Planning Application: 14/3550

    This is the link that will take you straight to the planning application on Brent’s website where you can lodge your comments: (please let me know if this link does not work)


    Matthew Harvey

    Or write:

    Matthew Harvey

    Brent Planning

    Brent Civic Centre

    Engineers Way

    HA9 0FJ

    Some objections could be:

  • The shop is a going concern
  • The area is densely populated and needs services and facilities
  • Increase in parking
  • The shop provides a service to the community
  • The opening hours of the shop contribute to the safety of the area as it encourages people to use the streets
  • The shop contributes to the mixed nature of the community, thus increasing its sustainability
  • The area has already lost facilities – most of our library, the newsagents, Mr Henry’s grocer shop.



    Margaret Bailey

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 1.       Mark Twain Talk  –  Dr Cindy Lovell

 When a distinguished American expert on Mark Twain offered to come and present a talk, FKRL jumped at the chance. We were delighted when over 200 people came along on Sunday to hear Dr Cindy Lovell, director of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Connecticut, USA, give a fascinating lecture-with-slides about Twain’s life, his love of England and his connection to Kensal Rise. It was of course Twain who, on 27 September 1900, opened Kensal Rise Library and received (Dr Lovell told us, among many interesting details) a giant, engraved key as souvenir, now owned by a collector in Texas. Before Dr Lovell spoke, local author Tim Lott read from Twain’s works, complete sets of which, kindly donated by Penguin Books, were raffled in the interval.

On speaking at the event Dr Lovell said:
It was such a huge privilege for me. I felt so strongly about the work you have all done to save the library and knew that if Sam were here he’d want to come over and raise a fuss. I only wish I could have come sooner to speak on his behalf but am glad I finally made it.
This was the first of what we hope will be an annual event, a Mark Twain Memorial Lecture in aid of the library. Humorous, serious and irreverent – like the great man himself.
The event raised £1850.

 Many thanks to Rev Graham Noyce for once again letting us use the church and thanks also to businesses who supported the event (Daniels; Borough Wines; the Paradise; Queens Park Books; L’Angolos; C& D Food and Wine, Berkmann Wines).

Good to see many of the local councillors from the three wards around the library, Kensal Green, Queens Park and Brondesbury Park supporting the event. Thank you to Cllr Joel Davidson for his generous donation and thank you to Tulip Siddiqi the prospective parliamentary candidate for her support.

Special thanks to Richard and Laura and Stephanie and Margaret for organising the event.

Major thanks of course to our wonderful community for their continued support
David Butcher – FKRL

2.  Queens Park Day – Sunday 14th September

 FKRL will be there. Please come and talk to us about the campaign and the exciting plans for the future of the community library. We want everyone to be a part of these plans and would love to hear your ideas for the library and community space and if you have any expertise or energy to share.

  Margaret – FKRL

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Update 20th July 2014

Hi Everyone,

Two important points:

1. The planning application for the Kensal Rise library was approved at the Planning Committee Meeting on Wednesday 16th July.

2. The developer has agreed to name FKRL as the ‘actual’ rather than ‘preferred’ tenant of the community space. This means that subject to lease and management arrangements being agreed the space will not have to be tendered out to other groups (The ‘Exception’ in the Localism Act allows for this) and FKRL can look forward to being the new tenants.

FKRL knows that this is not an ideal but a compromise solution, and we know there are challenging times ahead, but there has been so much support for our campaign, and there remains so much goodwill, that we are determined, with this continued support, to have a library back in our building. We are looking forward to planning our library and community space and hope as many of you as possible will want to be involved.

Thank you to everyone in the community, and beyond, who has supported us for nearly four years – any success we have had is due to your support.


 Margaret Bailey



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Hi Everyone,

Really good news!

1. Friends of Kensal Rise Library named as tenants of library and community space.

After months of negotiations, the Friends of Kensal Rise Library are to be named as the ‘Actual’ tenants of the new library and community space in the Kensal Rise Library building.
Previously the Friends were named only as the ‘preferred’ tenants, leading many to think that the agreement FKRL had signed with both All Souls College and the Developer was not watertight and carried no legal weight, and, that after years of campaigning there was a chance that other groups might be offered the space.
Mandip Sahota, Associate planner for the developer stated:
Further to advice provided by the LPA in respect of the Assets of Community Value Regulations 2012, I am pleased to advise that the applicant has today confirmed that he is naming FKRL as the ‘actual’ tenant, as opposed to his ‘preferred’ tenant, subject of course to lease negotiations, management plan etc being satisfactory. We trust this goes some way to giving the Council, the FKRL and the local community the confidence to support this planning application.
This is a real breakthrough and achievement, and thanks must go to our Trustees and Committee for their hard work in achieving this.
We also thank our community for supporting us and local councillors, especially Roxanne Mashari, who has worked on our behalf for some time.
This has been a long campaign with many obstacles.
We hope now to be able to begin to focus on creating a library and community space for all in our community.
2. Mark Twain Talk – St Martin’s Church Kensal Rise – Sunday September 7th at 7pm.
We are very lucky and honoured to have as our guest Dr Cindy Lovell, PhD, Executive Director of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, who will be giving a talk on Mark Twain.
More details will follow.
Thank you to Graham Noyce and the PCC for their continued support, we are really indebted to them.
3. Queens Park Day Sunday September 14th
FKRL will be present at Queens Park Day this year.
Come and find out about the campaign; sign up as a volunteer; join our committee; become a Trustee; all ideas welcome.
We do have other events planned, particularly a photographic exhibition of the campaign and a literary festival in the autumn – more on these later.
Margaret Bailey

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July Update

Planning Application to be decided on July 16th

The decision on the Planning Application for the Kensal Rise Library building will now take place on 16th July 2014 at 7pm at the Brent Civic Centre.
The decision was deferred at last month’s planning committee meeting while the committee took legal advice into whether or not they could proceed with making a decision on the Application.
Below is an excerpt from the latest Officer’s Report:

The Council has obtained advice from leading Counsel, Richard Drabble QC, since deferral of the
decision by Members on the 17 June. The advice was required to establish whether the Committee
could lawfully determine the current application having regard to the fraudulent emails, in support of
the application, received during the consultation process in respect of planning application reference
13/2058. Counsel has endorsed the views given by officers, by correctly identifying that such claims
of fraudulent activity, are not a material consideration for the purposes of assessing the current
Counsel contends that he can see no reason why the grant of planning permission on the current
application should prejudice the police investigation into whether earlier representations were bogus
or fraudulent. In these circumstances Members are obliged to determine the application on an
objective assessment of material planning considerations alone.

Planning Officers are recommending granting planning permission subject to the completion of a satisfactory Section 106 or other legal agreement.

Full details can be found on Brent Council’s website

FKRL will be attending the planning meeting and will be organising a bus to travel to the Civic Centre for the meeting.
The bus will leave the Kensal Rise Library building at 6.15pm.

If you would like a place on the bus please send me your name as places are limited.

Margaret Bailey

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June 2014 Update

Hi Everyone,

1. Brent Planning Officers have recommended that the planning application for the Kensal Rise Library building be granted consent – subject to legal agreement.

The Planning Committee will meet to decide whether or not to give consent at 7pm on 17th June. The meeting will take place in the Conference Hall at the Brent Civic Centre, Engineers way, Wembley. HA9 0FJ.
Members of the public are welcome to attend and if you wish to comment you need to contact:
Joe Kwateng – Democratic Services Officer –

020 8937 1354

You can read the Officer’s report at Brent’s planning website:

Click on meeting date: 17/06/14 and then click on agenda report pdf.
We will be organising a bus to go to the planning meeting on 17th June. We will leave from outside the library at 6pm, returning at approximately 10 pm. You are welcome to come and support FKRL.
If you are interested in a seat on the bus please email me as places are limited – .
There will be a site visit to the library by the Planning Committee on Saturday 14th June at 10.30am. You can show your support for FKRL to the planning committee by turning up and letting them know how important the D1 space is to this community..

2. Following the recent elections and the formation of a cabinet, councillors now have new responsibilities.Although Cllr Mashari has moved to Employment and Skills in the new Cabinet, she has given us an assurance that she will continue to work with FKRL until we have secured a Community Library on the Kensal Rise Library site. We would like to thank Cllr Mashari for her help and look forward to continuing to work with her, not only on the library but in future partnership, which will include working with young people in the borough, helping them to acquire employment skills and providing solutions to digital exclusion.The new Member who is responsible for libraries is Queens Park Councillor James Denselow.

Cllr Denselow sent us this message:
I’m delighted to have been re-elected by the residents of Queen’s Park and then voted to be the Labour Group’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities. I promise to work with FKRL to support their plans for a community library and will strive to bring these delicate negotiations to a successful conclusion. The opening of the Kensal Rise Community Library could be both an inspiration and template for a different kind of relationship between the Council and its residents”.
We look forward to working with Cllr Denselow.
3. The Queens Park  Photo Event is taking placing this coming weekend June 14th-15th 1-6pm.
Photo competition winners exhibition for Under18’s.
Around a Mile Exhibition from local photographers (all pix taken within one mile of Queens Park Bandstand).
Free portrait sessions and exhibition of previous sitters.
Come and have your photo taken and be part of the Queens Park Portrait Project
4. FKRL will be hosting some great events over the next couple of months.
Quiz night July 2nd with brilliant Quizmasters Richard and Simon. Venue to be announced..
Sunday 7th September – Cindy Lovell, Executive Director of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford Connecticut, USA, will be giving a talk on Mark Twain.
Venue to be announced. Check out the website – inspirational.
Queens Park Day – Sunday 14th September – FKRL will have  a stall – come and talk about the campaign, join the committee, become a trustee, give us your ideas for our library and community space.
We are looking forward  to making plans for our library and public space and involving as many of you as possible in those plans.
Hopefully, exciting days ahead.
Thank you to all of you that continue to support FKRL and the campaign.
Margaret Bailey


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