Thursday, 6 February 2014

Wall of Shame around Kensal Rise Library as developer annexes community asset

Gillick's Wall of Shame going up around Kensal Rise Library today
The Bursar of All Souls College, Thomas Seaman, has confirmed that the sale of Kensal Rise Library to developer Andrew Gillick has been completed.

All Souls College therefore has no further role having facilitated Gillick's possession of the site by demolishing the pop up library. They appear to have ignored pleas that the sale should not be completed until police investigations had reached a conclusion.

They have washed their hands of the problem but it won't go away as we wait for confirmation that the police are definitely going to investigate the fraudulent emails in Mr Gillick's previous planning application.


  1. i guess we need to see the actual sale document and the convenient, it is not commercially sensitive now the sale has completed FOI anyone

  2. Here is confirmation from the bursar of All Souls that the sale of Kensal Rise Library is now complete

    'Thank you for your email.

    The sale of the building has taken place.

    The College is not involved in the planning application process.

    Yours sincerely,

    Tom Seaman'.

    Andrew Gillick, of Kensal Properties/Platinum Revolver (sic), has become owner of one of Brent's few historic buildings at the very moment the police are reconsidering opening an investigation into the fraudulent emails surrounding his original planning application. Irony is clearly not dead.

    Let us hope that the once-prestigious All Souls College - Oxford's wealthiest - doesn't offer fellowships in Ethics or Moral Philosophy.

    1. I've no doubt All Souls receives huge amounts in bequests. Maybe, with sufficient publicity, in future it will receive rather less.

    2. The wealth of All Souls College goes back a long way. For anyone interested, here is a brief history lesson.

      The college was set up at Oxford in the 1440's, for post-graduate students of Divinity and Theology. It was established using hugh gifts of land (to provide it with an income from rents) by the King and the Church, particularly the then Archbishop of Canturbury, whose name was Chichele.

      The land given to it included large parts of Kingsbury and Willesden. A map of its lands at Kingsbury in 1597 gives its name as the 'Colledge of the Sowles of all faithefull people deceased'.

      In the past it was quite generous towards social causes, including donating the land to Willesden Urban District Council for Kensal Rise Library in 1900 and Cricklewood Library in 1929/30, on condition that it should only be used for public library purposes and must be returned to the College if that use ceased. It also provided sites, sometimes for payment, for a number of local schools and parks.

      Now, in the more commercialised 21st century, the College's charitable funds have profited from the "windfall" sale of the historic building which Willesden UDC built, using ratepayers money plus a donation from the philantropist, Andrew Carnegie, on the land given to them. In effect, Brent Council has made a large bequest to All Souls College, out of money "donated" by the ratepayers of Willesden.

      Philip Grant,
      Wembley History Society.

  3. I wonder how Powney and John OBE feel on seeing this today? Proud of themselves and Brent Labour?

  4. Likely to sit boarded up and idle for years to come as round 1 won by Gillick.

    Can't see how he can get planning permission anytime soon given public opposition and possibly police inaction becoming active again.

    If eventually it is found fraud was involved perhaps good case for proceeds of crime and silver lining asset restored to community. Probably wishful thinking

  5. Every town has one.... a building that is boarded up for 20 years

  6. Can they just board up a listed building without planning permission? It looks a real eyesore.

    1. So much for listing buildings on register as community asset. It makes no difference to the end result !

      Brent Council you should challenge the law surrounding community asset register. Should All Souls College have stopped the process of sale when Brent accepted the application to register the building as an asset of community value ?

      This need clarification as other community buildings could easily be sold to a develop irrespective of a building being register.

      Come on Councillors rather than All Souls trying to walk away from the issues that still are not resolved, start fighting on behalf of residents.

  7. Brent Council used identical hoarding to board up Preston Library when they closed it. This resulted in campaigners decorating it with messages to the Council about what they valued about the library and what they thought of the Council. Video on YouTube.

  8. Cllr. Roxanne Mashari is quoted in a report about KRL on the Kilburn Times website as saying:
    “I do not approve that All Souls College went ahead with the demolition without informing the council and the community. Nonetheless, our main concern and focus will be to secure a community library, and we would like to continue negotiations with ASC to make this a reality.”

    Unfortunately, All Souls College have taken the money and run, so the reality is that the Friends and the Council will have to negotiate with Mr Gillick to secure a guaranteed community library facility on the ground floor of this historic building, as part of his redevelopment of it. The building is an asset of community value, and I hope that this will help to bring about a reasonable solution, for the building and for the community.

    The worst thing that Mr Gillick could do now, in terms of his own plans for making a profit from this venture, would be to put "up the shutters" on negotiations with the Friends of Kensal Rise Library and their belated ally, Cllr. Mashari, as he has around his newly completed acquisition.