Campaigners block Brent Council’s attempt to strip Kensal Rise Library

17:35 16 May 2012

Protesters outside Kensal Rise Library, as council staff attempt to remove books.

Protesters outside Kensal Rise Library, as council staff attempt to remove books.

Jonathan Goldberg 07958 229 037

New leader of the council pledges to speak to library supporters

Campaigners have managed to stop Brent Council removing books from Kensal Rise Library.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, who will be sworn in as the new leader of Brent Council this evening, has promised the protesters to leave the books in the Victorian reading room for the rest of the day.

Margaret Bailey, member of charity Friends of Kensal Rise, said: “We have his assurance that nothing will be taken out of the library today.

“We have made inroads. I would be happy if we had his assurance that nothing will be taken until he has sat down and spoken with us but we haven’t had that yet.”

The protesters cheered as the vans which had came to collect the books early this morning drove off and Sue McKenzie, head of libraries at the council, left the building in Bathurst Gardens.

Residents have gathered outside the building all day in a desperate attempt to stop the removal of books.

Police were called to the scene as a precautionary measure.

The campaigners have been locked in battle with the council over the ownership of the buildings after it was closed and handed back to its original owners, All Souls College, in Oxford.

Cricklewood, Neasden, Preston, Tokyngton and Barham libraries were also closed to save the council £1million.

Cllr Butt said: “I am listening to the concerns and issues raised by the campaigners. I’m doing my best with a difficult situation. I have promised the campaigners I will be speaking to them. There has been a train of events which has taken place.

“It is difficult to stop the decision. As far as I am aware the reverter has been triggered and the library technically belongs All Souls College. It’s not my gift to give the library over to the campaigners.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Forensic officers at the murder scene (Pic credit: Hannah McGrath)

A man has been shot dead near Wembley in the early hours of this morning.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Sussex Gardens W2

A gas cylinder caught fire and ‘exploded’ in Paddington this afternoon, leading firefighters to create a 200 metre exclusion zone in the area which caused traffic chaos.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Missing: Shaheed Forde-Bryan (Picture: Met Police)

Shaheed Forde-Bryan from Rainham, east London has not been home since Sunday June 14 and police are appealing for help to locate him.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
The Royal Free's air conditioning may have accidently been pumping out hot air instead of cold

Sick and elderly patients said they suffered “sauna-like” conditions while being treated for life-threatening illnesses at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead after air conditioning units stopped working yesterday.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Em Ford was told she was 'digusting', 'gross' and 'ugly as f*ck'

A short video by a London-based former model who suffers from acne showing all the insulting comments people left on her blog has gone viral.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more