Monday, 21 February 2011

Brent Library Closures Fail the Evidence Test

Samantha Warrington of the Save Preston Library Campaign made an impressive speech to last week's Brent Executive setting out the areas in which the Council had failed to make an assessment of local needs in its 'Transformation' project involving the closure of half of Brent's libraries.

  • No analysis or projection of the return on investment from the libraries transformation programme - so no measurable targets on which to assess the success of the project. We could just be throwing money into a bottomless pit.
    • No evidence that people want larger libraries and will travel to them
    • No projections of how many people will travel to alternative, more distant libraries
    • No environmental impact assessment
    • No assessment on the effects on literacy on the schoolchildren of Preston ward
    • No adequate plans for the children of Preston Park school to have access to a library
    • Equality impact assessment is still not complete
    • No assessment on the health and fitness of the people of Preston ward and beyond who walk to the neighbourhood facilities
    • No assessment of the effect on community cohesion
    • No assessment of the effect of closure on local business
    • No assessment of the effect on people who do not speak English as a first language
    • No adequate transport assessment
    • No accessibility impact assessment for people with mobility issues or disability
    • No assessment of Preston Library users alternative access to computers and the internet
    • No assessment of the impact on people with learning difficulties
    • No exploration of opportunities to co-locate additional services at Preston Library
    • No attempt to leverage private sector involvement to support the operation of Preston Library
    • No exploration of innovative property solutions such as sale-and-leasebacks to facilitate continuing library provision at the Preston Library site
    • No exploration of opportunities to leverage private sector funding and/or sponsorship at the £3m Wembley Stadium mega-library ("no time" said Sue Mackenzie)
    • No exploration of alternative revenue streams
    • No exploration of charitable donations or educational grants from the private sector to fund library facilities
    • No attempt to scale back the £100m Civic Centre and £3m mega-library
    • No analysis or projections of the uptake of computer-based ebooks which form the basis of the library provision in the future

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank Martin for giving us the TRUTH on your Blog unlike some some other Brent Blogs :)