Leaflet 8 August 20131

Leaflet 8 August 20132

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Our Asset of Community Value turned into flats?

The developer Andrew Gillick has submitted his plans for Kensal Rise Library to Brent planning.
The link is:
Note below from the Department of Communities and Local Government – are you listening Brent?
DCLG policy statement on Asset of Community Value states: 
“The fact that the site is listed may affect planning decisions – it is open to the local planning authority to decide that listing as an asset of community value is a material consideration if an application for change of use is submitted, considering all the circumstances of the case.”
We will update you with details.

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July Update

Hi Everyone,
1. The community unified
Since the public meeting there has been a tremendous response in the community to our plans to present evidence to Brent’s planning committee opposing change of use of the Kensal Rise Library building from community use to residential. Over 45 local businesses and organisations have endorsed our petition opposing change of use of the building.
The Kensal Green branch of the Labour Party voted last week to support our aims to keep the library building in community use. Thank you to the branch who have been consistent in their support for our campaign.
This community does not want flats in the library, it wants a library in the library. It wants the building that we helped to pay for and to which All Souls College contributed not  a single penny to remain for the use of the community.
Putting six flats in the building and  a small space for a library, which we don’t think is viable, is not a fair deal for this community.
Cllr Roxanne Mashari, the new lead member for libraries has organised a meeting for us with Brent planning so that we can put the case for protecting the Kensal Rise Library building which the council designated an asset of community value.
2.  Petition
We have been circulating a paper petition locally which will contribute to the evidence we present to Brent planning to show that there are alternatives to flats in the building.
This petition is now online:
If you live in Kensal Green, Brondesbury or Queens Park wards please sign this petition and don’t sign if you have signed the paper one.
3. Survey
If you haven’t filled in the survey telling us your views about the Kensal Rise Library please take the time to do so. It will really help us to know how the community feels about the whole issue of the library/the campaign/flats etc and will also add weight to the evidence we present to the planning committee.
The link is below:
4. Quiz Night at The Masons Arms.
Tuesday 16th July at 8pm. Tickets on the door for £5.
Please support the campaign and have an entertaining night out competing against the greatest brains in Kensal Green/Kensal Rise.
Thank you to The Masons Arms for their continued support for our campaign.
Thank you to all of you that have stood strong for nearly three years now, there is still hope that there will be a good outcome for the enormous effort that has been put into this campaign.
We have become a stronger community, we know each other better, we care about and value where we live.
And it must be time for me to go to bed, this update is getting a bit emotional. When I think about the campaign I think about the really decent people that live around here and what a pleasure it is to be part of a community that values a simple thing such as a library is.
Simple but powerful.
Margaret Bailey

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Pub Quiz, Tuesday 16 July 2013, 8pm start at The Masons Arms

PUB QUIZ on 16 July 2013 at the Mason's Arms

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Letter to The Guardian by Meg Howarth about Brent Council





Dear Letters Editor

With due pride but no hint of irony, Councilor Jim Moher announces that the ‘Welcome Mandela’ plaque – made to commemorate Nelson’s Mandela’s 1990 visit to London – is to be installed in Brent Council’s expensive new ‘civic centre’ as a belated fitting memorial to the great man (Mandela and Brent, 26 June).

Ninety years prior to Mandela’s visit and his shameful treatment by Brent Council’s Tories, another famous overseas visitor to the north-west London borough – then Willesden – was commemorated by local politicians. Until it was removed in a shameful dawn raid 18 months ago, a brass plaque marked the opening in 1900 of Kensal Rise Library by Mark Twain, author of Huckleberry Finn (Kensal Rise Library stripped in night of books and Twain plaque, 29 May 2012).

Councillor Moher – together with his wife – was a Brent councillor and member of the ruling Labour group at the time of last year’s shameful event (both remain so). Perhaps he’d like to add his voice to the campaign to save this historic library, part funded by Andrew Carnegie and built on land owned by All Souls Oxford, by writing to Sir John Vickers, warden of the college – and chairman of the Independent Commission on Banking – requesting that the building be returned to its rightful use. The commemorative plaque could then be restored to its rightful place – inside the local library, not the civic centre. Brent Council’s and All Souls’ reputations could then rise from the ashes of this shabby episode.



Meg Howarth


19a Ellington Street


Twitter: @howarthm

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Future of the library survey

We have created a survey to update residents and to ask how you feel about the current situation with the library.

We plan to use the findings to demonstrate to All Souls College and their proposed developer how the community feels.

Please spare up to ten minutes to complete the survey here: 
The more responses we can get, the more confident we can be in the findings.

You can also upload photos of your memories of the library at:
Or email them direct to:    
(We can also be notified at the above email address of any photographs of the library in your possession, and arrange to have them scanned and returned to you.)

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Award-winning architects’ firm lend their support to library campaigners

Kilburntimesarticle by by Max Walters, Reporter Saturday, June 1, 2013
12:00 PM
Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library
Shepheard Epstein and Hunter pledge to help Friends of Kensal Rise Library

An award-winning architects’ firm which specialises in education centres and libraries has pledged to help residents in Kensal Rise battle plans to turn their former home into flats.
Shepheard Epstein and Hunter (SEH) have accepted an invitation from members of the Friends of Kensal Rise (FOKR), who are hoping to reopen Kensal Rise Library, to help their campaign.
The firm has worked in Hackney and Enfield and with a number of universities to provide better libraries. It has offered its skills and experience to get the best results at the building in Bathurst Gardens.
Kensal Rise Library is one of six shut down by Brent Council in October 2011.
Control of the site has since reverted to original landowners All Souls College, part of the University of Oxford, which plans to turn most of the building into flats with a small space left for a library.
But FOKR is calling for a bigger space to create a “much-needed” community resource and hopes the new partnership will help the group on its way.
SEH has won a number of awards in the last few years for projects such as Enfield Town Library and turning a university building in Leicester into a multiuse community facility.
Steven Pidwill, chairman of the firm, said: “Much of our work is with libraries and places of education and learning, and we know how important these places are as a community resource. We’d like to help find a way forward here which provides similar opportunities”.
Margaret Bailey, chairman of the Kensal Rise campaign, said: “We are indeed very fortunate to have access to such expertise and look forward to working with Shepheard Epstein and Hunter.
“With their expertise in the design of libraries and spaces for the wider community, we will show that the change of use to a residential development plus a small and unsustainable library space falls a long way short of what the community that helped pay for the building deserves.”
Adding that libraries were “close to their heart”, Mr Pidwill continued: “We know what a difference they make to people’s lives.
“We were impressed by the Save Kensal Rise Library campaign and delighted to be invited to advise.”

The article above can be found at:
Brent and Kilburn Times: Award-winning architects’ firm lend their support to library campaigners

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Council agree to work with campaigners in Kensal Rise Library battle


Max Walters, Reporter Wednesday, May 22, 2013
12:59 PM

Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library Campaign held a public meeting last night Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library Campaign held a public meeting last night

Public meeting held last night discussed ways forward for the campaign.

Campaigners fighting to save Kensal Rise Library are hopeful of the start of a new chapter in their efforts to retain the building after gaining support from Brent Council.

Members of Save Kensal Rise (SKR) campaign held a public meeting last night (Tues) where they discussed an update on the campaign and ways to move forward.

They were joined by leader of the council Cllr Muhammed Butt and the newly elected executive member responsible for libraries Cllr Roxanne Mashari at the meeting in St Martin’s Church in Mortimer Road.

During the meeting the council conceded they had made mistakes in their previous running of the libraries but insisted they were keen to work with the community going forward.

Margaret Bailey, director of the Friends of Kensal Rise, told the Times: “There was a feeling that they regretted what happened previously and want to build a relationship which we are grateful for.

“We looked through a number of options about what can be done and it was agreed that they would speak to the developers on our behalf.”

Kensal Rise Library was one of six shut down by the council in October 2011.

The building, in Bathurst Gardens, was returned to original land owners, All Souls College in Oxford, following a lengthy dispute between the council, campaigners and the college.

However, officials at the college now claim they have a binding agreement to sell the building to a property developer offering a space for a library on the ground floor. But campaigners claim the space is insufficient and are hoping the development will be stalled.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council said: “It was great to have the opportunity to talk to the community last night. Our new Lead Member Cllr Roxanne Mashari made it clear that community engagement will be at the heart of her approach and that we will work hand-in-hand with the campaigners to achieve a better result for our community.

“I look forward to many more productive meetings in the coming weeks and months.”

Cllr Mashari took over as lead member for environment and neighbourhoods after ousting Cllr James Powney at the council’s annual general meeting earlier this month.

Ms Bailey added: “There was an overwhelming sense that the building still has real community value for all of us and that we need a much bigger space. We are pleased the council has agreed to engage with us and hope we can move forward together.”

The article above can be found at:
Brent and Kilburn Times: Council agree to work with campaigners in KR Library battle

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Future of the library survey

We have created a survey to update residents and ask how you feel about the current situation with the library.

We plan to use the findings to demonstrate to All Souls College and their proposed developer how the community feels.

Please spare up to ten minutes to complete the survey here:

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Public Meeting Reminder!

Hi Everyone,
1. Public Meeting Reminder!
A reminder that we are holding a public meeting at 7.30pm on Tuesday 21st May in St Martin’s Church, Mortimer Rd, Kensal Green (first street on the right from Kensal Green Tube as you walk up College Rd, about 1 minute walk).
The Leader of Brent Council Cllr Muhammed Butt will be there and local councillors and we hope that Roxanne Mashari, the new Lead Member on the Executive responsible for Libraries will be able to make the meeting.
Roxanne came to a meeting of SOS Brent Libraries (the umbrella group of the campaigns attached to the closed libraries in Brent) on Sunday and stated most strongly that she wanted to have a dialogue with us and envisioned a partnership between the council and our community.
It is really important to let both the Leader of the Council and Cllr Mashari know how strongly this community feels about the loss of our library and the importance of the Kensal Rise Library building as a library and community space, a space that we will lose if the building is turned into flats.
To achieve this we really do need as many of you as possible to come to the public meeting.
We are still fighting after nearly three years and they need to know what we are fighting for and what we value in this community.
Thank you once again to Graham and his parishioners for not only letting us have the church for our meeting but for also offering to provide refreshments.
Such solid support we have had and we are very grateful and heartened by it.
2. Pop Up Library
More goodwill!
Thank you to Michael Cosgrave for his terrific gift of shelves on wheels for the pop up and he brought them all the way from East London.
We’ll be able to save many more books from damage by the elements thanks to Michael’s generous gift and as they are made out of recycled wood we can feel very virtuous about using them too.
Michael has a link if you are interested in buying any of his furniture.
Thanks Michael. x
Regards and looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday.
Margaret Bailey

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