Before tonight's meeting a Willesden Bookshop customer sent this message to Brent Executive members:
As a member of the Executive who will be attending this evening's meeting I am writing to you to register my dismay at the proposed redevelopment plans for Willesden Green, which currently do not accommodate The Willesden Bookshop.
As a Brent resident for the last ten years I have valued this establishment and with each year I use it more and more.
I am not sure if you are aware of the invaluable resource that the bookshop provides, supplying stock to countless individuals and schools in the borough and beyond, cognizant of the diverse cultural community which it serves and reflecting those needs in the books that it sells. The depth of knowledge of the staff there is comprehensive impressive and provides a great service for those of us who prefer to browse and have a face to face conversation about a title or genre with someone whom we know will help us. It is efficient in ordering books for customers when they do not carry the titles on their own shelves, and are always courteous and helpful. My primary school aged children and secondary school aged son spend hours selecting books there and would be devastated not to be able to couple their visits to the library with one to the bookshop. There are numerous local authors whose work is regularly and prominently displayed. It's one of the few beacons of cultural success in Willesden Green and is a successful small business that we as individuals as well as local and central government should be championing.
The current cafe space in the Library Centre area has always been unsuccessful. This may be down to the fact that there is a great deal of competition when it comes to cafes in the High Road and yet the redevelopment has plans for one. Willesden doesn't need another cafe. It needs to keep its only general bookshop, and I would like the developers to explain to Brent residents how one can have a Cultural Centre without having a bookshop, reflecting the culture of the area and the needs of its residents, at the heart of it.
I would please ask you to reconsider the plans in order to accommodate the Willesden Bookshop. It would be a tragedy for it to be lost.