Residents can expect just 3 functioning libraries in “21st Century”
As Brent Council slashes library services in half, telling people to “buy books in Tesco” and “get on a bus”, little do residents realise that of the 6 remaining libraries, only 3 are ‘fit for purpose’. Kilburn “needs major upgrade”, Willesden Green is set to be knocked down and rebuilt and funding is being sought for Kingsbury to be rebuilt/enlarged. That leaves just 3 usable libraries in Brent Council’s vision of a “21st century library service”.
Preston users have been told to go to Kingsbury, but this is clearly not big enough. So where will they go? The new £ 3 million mega-library our cash-strapped council found money for. How convenient. At least for the council. It’s too far for children, the elderly and disabled (who most use the existing library) , there’s no parking and rising public trasport fares make this ‘free’ service, not so free.
Cricklewood and Kensal Rise were told to go to the soon-to-knocked-down Willesden Green. Neasden too. Or this severely deprived area can use Town Hall. Oh hang on, that will be replaced by £3million mega library much further away.
You can of course use a computer to download books. If you don’t have a computer? Or god forbid, just one per family, you can use Brent’s computers. Just get on a bus to do it. How many 8 year olds will do that?
So how many existing users will go to other libraries? No attempts made to find out: ” it is impossible to predict increases in numbers at remaining libraries”. Yet they are certain this will improve the service.
Brent library users can now look forward to:
– distant services.
– 3 functioning libraries (down to 2 as Town Hall shifts to Mega Library) instead of 12.
– a free mobile app that tells them how far away their distant services are (free to download, £30,000 to create)
– charges to borrow books (bus fare, tube fare, or parking)
Why? For the want of just £400,000 a year from a council that just wrote off £17.3 million in uncollected debt.
Posted on October 13, 2011, in Brent Council, Library update and tagged education, jeremy hunt, libraries, library, London, preston, preston library, save preston library, savelibraries, ukuncut, Wembley. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Residents can expect just 3 functioning libraries in “21st Century”.