Friday 4 November 2011

Lies, Damn Lies, and Library Transformation

The quote in the November Brent Magazine

Brent Council's dismal record of misinformation and disinformation over public libraries, which started of course with the misleadingly named 'Transformation Project', has been highlighted again today.

The Brent Magazine, which is still flopping through letter boxes, claimed that all Brent residents were 1.5 miles from a library. Toni McConville, Director of Customer and Community Engagement for Brent Council said:
The information about the 1.5 mile distance that residents would need to travel to a library was provided by the Library Service. An assumption was wrongly made that this meant one of the council's remaining libraries rather than a library in the vicinity.

I'm sorry for the error and have pointed it out to the communications team so that the mistake is not repeated.
Graham Durham,Secretary of Save Cricklewood Library Campaign,  said:
This is the latest in a series of misleading information on library cuts.Throughout the consultation and in endless meetings Annjohnette has stated it will be 1.5 miles to a Brent library - it is now clear that this claim was utterly untrue.Any resident of Wembley or Willesden could have told the council this.
Preston Library campaigners are marching from South Kenton to Kingsbury Library on Saturday afternoon to demonstrate the distance to their nearest library following the closure of Preston Library.


Shahrar Ali said...

Further misinformation alert, masquerading as clarification from Brent Council. Can this quote from Toni McConville be right?: "An assumption was wrongly made [by whom?] that this meant one of the council's remaining libraries rather than a library in the vicinity [of what, a boarded library?]."

Translation: "We wishfully misreported in our propaganda sheet that after losing half the libraries, residents would still remain within 1.5m of a local library."

Therefore, I think editorial practice would require for this correction to be made prominently in the next Brent Magazine (if not erratum slips inserted).

A corrected statement also about how far a resident would actually have to travel under the new regime would also be informative, even if politicaly inconvenient.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Brent should rename their "Transformation project" the "Misinformation project"!!!

It strikes me that the disappearance of the letters page some time ago in the Brent Magazine was a cynical ploy to stop residents having a voice in this Council-funded PR rag.