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Brent Libraries: Supreme Court refuses appeal, but guess what?

By Margaret Bailey

Brent Libraries: Supreme Court refuses appeal, but guess what?   This campaign has been a tour de force and a model of citizinship for all. The fight to keep the libraries opened, continues with strength.

This campaign has been a tour de force and a model of citizinship for all. Despite the setback, the fight to keep the libraries opened continues with strength.

Margaret Bailey, a spokesperson for the Save the Kensal Rise Library campaign released this statement: 



"We have been refused permission to appeal to the the Supreme Court and while this is disappointing it now allows us to begin to explore our other options.

1. Friends of Kensal Rise Library Proposal to operate a community run library. 

The Friends of Kensal Rise Library, a registered charity, submitted detailed plans to the council last year for a community run library. The 'Friends' are seeking an agreement that would allow them use of the building in order to run the library. Brent had said that it would consider the proposals once the legal action was finished. We understand that council officers will be meeting this week to do this. We hope that in a spirit of cooperation the council will now agree to negotiate with the community. It would be a terrible shame if they squandered the goodwill and commitment of all of us who have supported the campaign to keep the library open; if they did not recognise what it would mean to this community to lose the library; to be responsible for the loss of this valuable asset to our community. This is an issue on which we will be campaigning hard. We need to convince Brent that we are serious and have the commitment and ability to keep the library operating.
We know that it is a huge undertaking but we also have seen over the past year the remarkable transformation of our community, the willingness to work together to preserve what we value. 
If you want to take a look at the plan go to our website www.savekensalriselibrary.org and comment is welcome.

2. Public Meeting

We hope to hold a public meeting on Tuesday 14 February where we will discuss where we are in the campaign and where we go from here. Details of the venue to follow.

 

3. Department of Culture Media and Sport

Over the course of the past year several hundreds of complaints have been made to the DCMS to the effect that Brent is not discharging its statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport has been considering these complaints as have his officials, but none have been determined. It is now possible that the DCMS could be challenged for the failure to determine the complaints about Brent. We will be sending a letter to them threatening a judicial review of that failure. The purpose of this will be to prompt the Secretary of State to decide for himself whether the library service in Brent is comprehensive and efficient since the closures, or whether there should be a public enquiry (like the Wirral Enquiry). The challenge to the DCMS potentially benefits all the the affected libraries and their users.

4. National Libraries Day 

Thank you to everyone who supported our two very successful events, the Jamie Reid print launch at the Mason's Arms on Friday 3 February and the poster making at the library on Saturday 4 February. Both were great fun and the library looks a lot more 'revitalised' with all the new posters made by children. Hopefully the snow will not be too destructive, although the library looked lovely this morning with the red balloons bright against the snow. What a hardy bunch those little artists are, and hopefully next year when we celebrate National Libraries Day we'll do so inside the library.

5. Pop Up library

Still going, and if you would like to offer an hour or more of your time you would be very welcome. Just pop up and add your name to the roster. We are also trying to post updates there so you can find out what is happening and also share your ideas.

 

Plenty to do but the continued support and enthusiasm makes it much easier."

 

Links:

http://www.savekensalriselibrary.org 

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