Monday, 23 May 2011

Libraries Fight Continues - Act Now

A message from Save Preston Library Campaign:

Dear Preston Library Supporters,

You may have been told that the fight is over. Everything is lost. Far from it. If our politicians have resigned themselves to the permanent loss of our libraries (mind you, most of them will not be losing theirs), the residents of Brent fight on. And boy is it getting interesting.

To recap:  

* The closure of Preston library is UNNECESSARY and UNJUSTIFIED. 
* They say it will save £1million. 
* We say STOP the building of a new £3million library no one has asked for, and leave ours alone.
* They say, they will provide a better service. 
* We ask HOW? If we have to spend more time and money getting to facilities further away.

Brent is creating a 2-tier library system - some areas will get expanded LOCAL provision, the rest of us will lose what little we have. Fair? I think not. 


Two things:
1. All six library campaigns have formed Brent SOS Libraries and we are challenging the closure plan legally. It is an exciting prospect with excellent chances. 
Please see for more details. We ARE fundraising, so please watch this space for details of events. 
- we are all volunteers, and we haven't asked for a penny so far. We need both volunteers and donations. Email us if you wish to do either. It's your library too. 

2. Every resident affected by libraries is writing to the Secretary of State, who can step in and help us, but only if we ALL take 2 minutes to write to him. Details follow. 


Thanks to your letters, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (responsible for libraries) has asked to meet with Brent Council.  In theory the government can stop the closure. BUT the only way this can happen is if every resident writes/emails the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, to tell him how you will be affected.
Thousands are affected by the closure of Preston Library, thousands of letters must land on Jeremy's desk.

It takes 2 minutes to write a short email. Do it now. Get your neighbours and kids to sign it.

According to the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, Brent Council is obliged to provide a "comprehensive and efficient library service". The date is yet to be confirmed, but we are preparing evidence that the Brent Council is failing to meet its responsibilities.

Local Government Minister, Eric Pickles, has already criticised Brent Council's inability to make proper savings. They prefer to chop off important public services instead of cutting out waste.

Thousands are affected by the closure of Preston Library, they need to see thousands of emails/letters. We need you to do this.

*The DCMS will only take our complaint seriously if EVERYONE writes to them. This week, we must all take a few minutes to write  short email or letter explaining how the closure of Preston Library affects YOU. It doesn't need to be long or beautifully written, just needs to be written.

Here are some ideas on what you could write.

- It will cost time and money to go to Kingsbury Library - can you afford the bus fare/car parking fee everytime you want to use a library?

- Do you have time in your busy working day to go all the way to the Town Hall or Kingsbury by car or pu blic transprt to take out or return a book?

- Are you disabled or elderly? How hard is it for you to use the bus to get to Kingsbury / Town Hall? Can you manage the stairs at Preston Road Station to get to Brent Town Hall by tube? Can you face the waiting, and the journey there and back?

- Do you have a computer? Does your family have just one computer between you? Will you really be hogging the computer just to read an e-book?

- How do you feel about half the borough having better local libraries while you are deprived of yours?

- Is it fair that Willesden Library gets expensive games consoles and table tennis while you are being asked to "take a bus" because the council says it can't afford your library?
- What are you losing when Preston Library closes? Will the new virtual book groups and far away libraries compensate?

Address: Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5DH

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