The Long March to Kingsbury Library

Thanks to Wembley Matters blog for the account of today’s  Walk to Save Preston Library. Locals from children to octagenarians walked en masse to their “next nearest library” in Kingsbury  from South Kenton. With no direct public transport, the walk highlights how the new library system in miles out.

The march took about an hour, excluding a short refreshment stop.  As one of the slower ones said, “By the time we get there are books will be gone!”

When we got to the Kingsbury Library some campaigners popped in to look at the facilities. Many were surprised by how small it was and it certainly looked crowded with just the addition of a few of us. One campaigner fondly remembered the ‘long table’ at Preston Road library which fostered conversations and community solidarity.

A mother with two young sons said it just didn’t feel like her ‘local library’. At Preston she had known all the staff and felt comfortable to let her children explore the library without close supervision. She had known most of the users by sight.  Localism and feelings of safety and ease would be missing if she had to use this library.

The Transport for London Journey Planner gives two routes from South Kenton to Kingsbury Library Plus. The first is a train to Kenton and then a 183 bus and the other a 223 bus to Wembley Park and then the Jubilee line to Kingsbury. Not exactly user friendly.

Overcrowded trains and buses, no plans to increase services. Virtually no parking, certainly not free. Yes Mr Powney, there are “other modes of transport”, just not any good ones.

And let’s not forget the council has now privately admitted it has been lying about us all now living within 1.5 miles of a library. Ann John used to tell us most people don’t live close to a library, now she’s closed half of them, suddenly we do! Orwellian.