Cllr Ann John in hiding – and other news

Latest stories from sister campaign, Save Kensal Rise Library’s website:

People of Brent tell Cllr Ann John: don’t hurt Brent’s young people. Save our libraries.

Pressure is mounting on embattled Brent council leader Ann John and Culture councillor James Powney, as hundreds of residents – over 400 – turned out to hear Alan Bennett in support of Brent’s libraries at a sold-out event, packing full a large church, and raising almost £5000 in one evening alone. The event was also broadcast on BBC Newsnight and has had widespread press coverage, both national and local.

…Labour Party members are said to be furious with Powney and Ann John’s behaviour, and have voted through a motion of no confidence in the Council Executive’s handling of the library closures, fearing a huge defeat on an unprecedented scale at the next council elections.

Read all about it, and see the Alan Bennett video here.

Continue reading

Brent Council under fire in national press

Following the hugely successful Evening with Alan Bennett organised by the Kensal Rise Library campaign (one of our Brent SOS partners), Brent Council has come under scrutiny again with articles in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraphcoverage on BBC Newsnight, and the Evening Standard.

(for more, see the Save Kensal Rise Library website here)

Council speechless at silent protest

Brent SOS Library protestors staged a silent banner protest at the Mayor making ceremony on Tuesday. After standing for a few minutes, they left, having made their point to councillors determined to close our libraries.

In the absence of a proper response to the concerns of Brent citizens to the unnecessary loss of local services, an enraged Chief Executive Gareth Daniels (who earns around £250,000 a year) resorted to the rather weak accusation that we were

Image courtesy of Wembley and Brent Times

making political statements

Hardly.  As Laura Collignon, of Brent SOS, explained:

The council was celebrating the community champions but at the same time the council won’t even talk to us when we’re similarly trying to serve the community.”

We are working on behalf of our communities, not any political party, to save an important public service. It does nobody any favours pretending it is otherwise.


£5 donations needed for library legal action

Tara Brady of Wembley Observer reports…

CAMPAIGNERS are asking generous members of the public to donate just £5 to help fund legal action against Brent Council over its decision to close six libraries.

A new umbrella group, called Brent SOS Libraries, has been set up to represent all six reading rooms which will shut its doors for good this year.

The determined campaigners say they need at least £30,000 to take their case to the High Court for a judicial review.

They believe the council did not consider alternatives to closing the libraries, that it did not assess community needs or the impact, made mistakes about facts it presented to the public, misunderstood its legal duty to provide a library service and acted unfairly and therefore unlawfully.

 Without the financial support of the community the case cannot be taken forward.

Council’s ‘million pound spending spree’ while libraries face closure

In today’s Wembley Observer, Tara Brady reports….

MORE than £1.2 million was spent on consultants by Brent Council during the same month it recommended to close six of the borough’s libraries.

Campaigners have expressed outrage at the amount the local authority paid out to obtain advice from private consultancy firms in March.

In the same month, a council report was published recommending the closures of six libraries to save the authority money despite mass opposition from the public.