DCMS is “not minded” to investigate mass library closures in Brent

Despite thousands of complaints, the DCMS has said it will not investigate the library closures in Brent.DCMS representative recieves our petition

They met Brent Council in June, but have refused to speak to us, or hear our (ample) evidence. Now, after a letter from our legal team challenging their year-long silence on the matter, they have finally spoken.

We have until Thursday March 1 to challenge this provisional decision. Email them (using info below) – enquiries@culture.gov.uk

You can read more about their reasons on Martin Francis’s excellent blog – Wembley Matters

Here is their full response plus an edited version of the letter we sent them – DCMS & Brent Libraries

Tell the DCMS:

  1. Do you think the consultation was adequate?
  2. Did they take into account the needs of library users?
  3. What has been the effect of closure on your family?

Some useful facts:

  • Why did they ignore the 80% of respondents to the consultation who opposed the Council’s plans?
  • Brent claims the remaining libraries are the ‘best located and most used’ – BUT Preston Library had:
    • the HIGHEST issues [loans] per visit of any Brent library,
    • the HIGHEST ratio of books issued to stock,
    • the SECOND most-cost effective by cost per issue
    • the FOURTH most efficient by cost per visit
  • Brent claims increased opening hours in libraries  BUT there has been a gain of 23 hours but a net loss of 195 hours through the closures.
  • For many people the available libraries are inaccessible whether they are open or not.
  • Library use overall is estimated as being down by about 15%