Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Blunt speaking in favour of Friends of Kensal Rise Library

Guest post by Gaynor Lloyd
OK, I had decided to hold back from comment on this. I am "just" a Brent SOS library campaigner from the other end of the Borough. I have  been involved more or less from the beginning but "my" library is Barham - which Brent Council and its Labour councillors treat somewhat differently from Kensal Rise. However, I am not bitter! I rejoice at the return of ANY library to the Brent library circuit and look forward to Kensal Rise re-opening even if it is “only” on the ground floor. I apologise if that offends some people and can take being told to butt out..

But I claim some right to comment from a position of knowledge. In my working life up to retirement last year, I was a commercial  property lawyer, experienced in development, sales and landlord and tenant matters in a Central London firm for over 33 years – including “against” the solicitors All Souls use – Farrers. I acted for P&O, Chelsfield, Laing, Sun Life Assurance and many developers and investors small and large. 

I was “lucky” enough to be allowed to go to some of Cricklewood ‘s meetings - including at Savills with the Cricklewood team, where I met the (in)famous Mr Seaman and his advisers, and also – in a  separate meeting – the legendary Mr Gillick.

The day that All Souls exchanged contracts with Andrew Gillick’s property company in respect of the Kensal Rise Library, the die was cast in terms of what bargain could be made for the library. People may not like it but that is the position at law. Nobody at Kensal Rise – the Friends of Kensal Rise (FKRL) or otherwise – nor at Brent Council had any control whatsoever. The legal position is what it is. All Souls sold to Andrew Gillick’s company. The contract was not subject to planning, and Gillick could buy, with the only protection for the library as set out in the Option Agreement. Thanks to the campaigners’ persistence, that Option Agreement has become public – but only just. FKRL had no knowledge of what protective provisions there might be to preserve their beloved library. They had no power whatsoever to impose anything, or change what All Souls  and Gillick had agreed.

However, thanks, in my view, to the fantastic campaigning by FKRL, through its Trustees and the community– it turns out that – All Souls kept back a provision for community space in that Option Agreement – essentially the binding contract for the disposal (as Gillick exercised his option). The Trustees – from the sight I have had as a member of Brent SOS steering group from the beginning have, in my opinion,  played an absolute blinder with constant risks and with essentially a blooming awful hand once Brent was daft enough to trigger the reverter. What they have achieved thus far was  against impossible odds 
 The provisions as to space and terms on which it can be obtained for community are set in the contract. It simply was not possible for anyone to improve on that position. All Souls and Gillick entered into their Option Agreement . FKRL was not and could not be at the table for that agreement. Essentially, that was that. All that hard work to get Kensal Rise classified as an Asset of Community Value was defeated. FKRL had no position from which legally to negotiate.

So – sorry for my bluntness – but the Trustees of FKRL couldn’t change that. Anyone who thinks that  it was in the legal control of FKRL to get any better position is plainly wrong. The contract between All Souls and  Gillick’s company is enforceable in law, and FKRL has no standing in that contract.

If people want to object to the planning application, that is up to them. There may be tactical considerations but it is hardly my place to comment on that – I don’t know all the facts nor am I a Kensal Rise campaigner nor resident in Kensal Rise. But – from the (involved and caring) outsider’s position, forgive me for saying this. The Brent SOS campaign has brought so many magnificent hard working people together, forged alliances across party lines and worked very hard for the public of Brent . Because of that, Kensal Rise MAY well actually get a library. Can people celebrate that? I am sure that they will work together to ensure that will happen.

But may I personally pay a huge tribute to my chief contacts – firstly, the truly magnificent, totally committed, fearsome and fearless - and hard working beyond all measure - Margaret Bailey   Apart from all her physical work  along with others “manning” the much lamented and iconic pop-up library, I have been in contact with her, as she sat up all night for days getting documents drafted and  in , e.g. on the planning) .And  - let us not forget – it was Margaret. who took the risk on the court case in her name. As a lawyer, I understand the courage and genuine risk  of that - however much she may minimise it, in her inimitable fashion.   And, of course, Laura Collignon , who has  in addition to all her work in the complex, lengthy and multi-layered campaign for Kensal Rise, marshalled the mixed , feisty and totally committed  members of the Brent SOS  overall  steering group in some of the best run meetings I have ever witnessed .  

Two women who truly deserve accolades for the extraordinary position that FKRL has got itself to. (With many apologies to those who have doubtless also worked very hard in the campaign!)



    FKRL did a great job and the community should come together and back to planning so we can have a library sooner rather than later....

  2. We need a library soon...

    Without the presence of a Pop up the Kensal Rise Library campaign is totally losing momentum.

    The developer could leave the building empty for years and all will be forgotten... forever.

    1. The only reason people are now moving on is FKRL turned their backs on the community.

      The community want answers and wants FKRL to stand up for what they originally believed in.

      Now it just seems pure politics, sad but very true I am afraid.

      People are turned off by the politics and the backroom deals.

  3. Lots of people work very hard for causes they believe in - doesn't mean they are always right. Seems a very odd argument that is put here.

  4. Yeah but what does Trevor think? We haven't heard from him at all though out this whole saga.

    1. There's a lot of BLOCK CAPITALS in these comments. Trevor doesn't need to speak, his influence is everywhere.

  5. No one disputes the hard work of FKRL

    However the fact remains why all the sudden haste to get the planning application done and dusted ?

  6. Are you telling us the contract is valid?

    Can we not challenge it?

    There must be a way we can get our library back?

    If not objecting to the planning is futile as the alternative a crazy religion church is even worse....

    What do you recommend we do?

    1. The contract can be challenged.

      Saying it can't be challenged is total rubbish.

      The contract between All Souls College and Gillick should be challenged to establish legal precedent.

      ie Is the contract lawful when a property owner decides to make a binding contract that pre-determines a different minimum D1 floor area to that already existing or should this have first been referred to the planning inspectorate for their comments and their agreement that they accept the D1 floor area reduction in the said contract ?

      This matter needs to be fully considered by Planning Inspectorate

    2. It would be the planning authority that makes any decision to change the D1 use. It may endorse the contract's terms as to D1 floor area or not. What happens if it does not, is an interesting posiitoin. Frankly, I think they should, but were the planning committee to endorse the position of the die-hards who are holding out for the entire building to be retained for D1 use, the whole pack of cards could collapse, and it is my judgement that you would not then see a restoration of any kind of library to the site. It could be considered by the Palnning Inspectorte but surely only if it gets referred to the Inpsecotrate or goes there by default of any decision by the planning authority within the required period.

  7. Thanks Gaynor, very well said!

  8. So the only hope is that the planning fails.

    If it fails the developer will appeal and reapply and will eventually get what they want.

    FKRL thus made the right decision taking the developers kind offer was the only solution and is a great outcome for Councillors, community and all envolved except perhaps the developer who is having to give away so much of the building...

    1. Ah Right

      The same Councillors that got us into this mess in the first place.

      Not on your life they deserve any congratulations.

    2. You're congratulating the developer for "giving away so much of the building"? The developer was obliged by his contract with All Souls to give away a D1 space - the Optional Agreement between the developer and All Souls specifies none of it should be basement space, but this he tried to break in his last planning application by offering us basement space, so how underhand was he in trying to get away with that? Additionally, All Souls College didn't pay for the construction of the building over a hundred years ago - so an argument could be made that part of the proceeds of their sale to Gillick belongs to the local community through the right of equitable ownership. How much did Gillick pay All Souls for the building? He was probably given a hefty concession for having to give us any space; we're being ripped off and you want to thank those shafting us.

    3. The building is a former library. Note Former!

      Any continued use as a library is pure generosity on All Souls and the developer.

      Bare in mind that this developer was the only developer willing to reinstate the library and All Souls have generously offered the space rent free.

      For those who cannot read The option expired in January 2013... so we don't know what the end deal was...

      Personally i do not think the area needs or wants a library.

      No one used the old one and it was a right dive full of drop outs.

    4. The library transformation project has made 6 of the UK's best and most cost effective libraries.

      Close the old ones and build much needed housing and contribute to the councils coffers.

      I fully agree with the closing of the 6 libraries.

    5. 'Bear' in mind; for those who cannot write!

    6. cost-effective and much-needed require hyphenation as they are compound adjectives predecately used. #should'veusedalibrary

  9. Seems like FKRL has lost a lot of support in the community over this. So without that support will they be able to sustain a library staffed by volunteers?

    1. FKRL has not lost a lot of support in the community.
      How many people have you spoken to?
      Most people want a library in the building.
      What do you want? Could you explain? And how will you get it?

    2. Why so defensive? It was just an observation. In answer to your question, I've spoken to 6 people in Kensal Rise and the split is 3 for the deal and 3 against. So it would be reasonable to say that "it seems like FKRL has lost a lot of support".

    3. Agree

      People don't want 80% just handed over on a platter to a developer.

      The Trustees of FKRL are not representative of the Borough unless they consult the community and then make a decision on the community support to take the deal or accept need for transparency and accountability and not support planning application.

      FKRL took the decision before consulting with the community and now surprised at the wide anger.

      Consult or be at the mercy of anger from those who take a different view and who were not consulted.

    4. Building has been sold.

      Let's face the fact the library will not return.

      I for one would much rather an apartment development than the alternative.... a drop in center for drug addicts/ alcoholics or a strange sort of church.

      I am personally happy the corner of Bathurst and College has been cleaned up.

    5. Second

      It has been like living in a shanty town

      Although if Gillick is given planning permission he should be forced to make a substantial contribution to improvement of other community space for approval of planning application.

      Current Community Levy is not enough.

    6. Thirdly

      The councillors and Planning Committee have to realise that Gillick did what All Souls and Brent Council would not.... clean up the street corner. It is MASSIVE IMPROVEMENT.

      I think the council should say Gillick make the whole building residential and give us a levy to make our current Libraries/ Community facilities better.

    7. Whatever way you look at it JODI and MEG have destroyed our chances of dealing with All Souls or Gillick.

      The damage they have done in the community and how they have alienated themselves is remarkable.

      Their people skills are unmatched, without their influence I am convinced a deal could have been reached...

  10. There was no 'kind offer' (Anonymous 00.38) from Andrew Gillick - nor from All Souls - and it's doubtful the D1 space is secure. See 15.2.5: 'No restriction on the ability to make an application for planning permission'. Should FKRL be unable, for whatever reason - eg, the financial burdens which the Option Agreement imposes - to become the legal leasee, then it seems that clause 15.2 of the Agreement will have been fulfilled. The way could then be open for a change-of-use planning application for the D1 space. Ms Lloyd has confirmed what Meg Howarth stated: that the Agreement did not expire in January 2013. It is a legally binding document which remains in force until 14.7 has been fulfilled.

    As for a 'great outcome for Councillors' - you bet. As others have said, there's an election coming. Let's hope that FKRL hasn't been led in to its present short-term deal by elected members.

  11. I don;t know why "Anonymous" - - why shelter behind this? - thinks the Friends of Kensal Rise Library have "lost a lot of spport in the community over this".. I agree with Gaynor Lloyd - the FKRL have played a blinder. In effect if the developers gets the planning permission he seek, the side aurances to FKRL appears suffiiciently robust for their to be an opportunity for a community library on the gorund floor of the building. FKRL can then apply pressure onto All Souls to do a charitable work for a change and use their proceeds from the sale to Gillick to help fund the community library. The fuller opening hours than the 18 hours that existed in recent years should enable greater usage of the library, although I would urge a more astute book stock acquisition programme in future than reams of lightweight easy reading fiction. From my doorstep contacts in the local community, there is little support for the die-hards who want every cubic metre of the ubilding right up into the loft space devoted to library uses. Given the need for disability access, opening up the upper floors to library usage is not really a realsitic option.

    There is no reason to delay the palnning committee hearing the planning application. We know there is an investigation - slow-moving, owing to the ISP hosting the bogus email senders not cooperating with the police - into the emails sent in support of the previous planning applciation, but that is a a separate issue from the issues to be considerd in the current application. Clearly any messages in support of or against the current application will be scrutinised as to their integrity. The palnning authority is under an olbigation to consider a planning application expeditiously unless there are both grounds for deferment and the applicant acquiesces to a deferment.. Whatever errors Brent made in the past, I hope we can move together to a new community library, and take it out of the grandstanding politicising that at least one political party is engaging in.

    1. Typical response from a Labour candidate seeking votes for Kendal Rise Ward.

      No respect when it is obvious what has happened to FKRL

    2. Surely a much better deal would be to challenge the Gillick All Soul contract.

      All Souls might then realize no develop would purchase such a building without the stated D1 minimum.

      All Souls might then gift back to people of Brent if they then realize the contract of sale is invalid and can't get such a keen buyer as Gillick has been.

    3. Dan Filson clutching at bubbles in repeating the Brent party-line 'whatever errors we made in the past'. Typical party-politicking. Wake up, Mr Filson - most citizens are shunning the chicanery of party politics, of whatever hue.

    4. Dan, please detail the errors that were made in the past

    5. So now Dan has inside information from the police... where and when has it been said an ISP has not co-operated with the police.

      Is this a case of if in doubt just make it up.

    6. Some dreaming going on here and playing up to the public. Want to be politicians are just spouting off what they think people want to hear.

      What gives the impression that All Souls are a feeling flush and will just write a nice big cheque. Do they owe the community anything.

      FKRL have lost credibility with this latest report of the finances.

      And now for good measure you are telling us the ISP are refusing to give details out to the Police. Strange that when there is legislation in place that compels them to cooperate. Hence why internet crime is resolved! Unless the ISP is located in Afghanistan.

      The library was shut down and it's service re provided under the library transformation program.... Brent has not an endless amount of cash and your understanding of finances and reality is laughable.

      Leave the politics to those who know and stop playing to the crowd/ making stuff up.

    7. Fully Agree

      Just another Labour spin puppet.

      It also proves that FKRL have been silenced their for co coperation

    8. Planet Earth calling Mars

      A Labour candidate has spoken and wants earthlings to behave themselves or else !

      Sounds like big stick approach.

    9. Dan fully agree.

      Lets hope the planning committee thinks the same.

      Lets hope the ISP cough up the information. Any more news on the investigation? You are the only public figure man enough to speak.

      Well done keep up the great work.

  12. The question arises is FKRL now representative of the community wanting to save the building for future generations ?

    If not then it would be perfectly reasonable to suggest that FKRL might not now be the most appropriate community organization to take on such a responsibility considering the 180 degree change in direction that has recently occurred and FKRL seem more like a Political football now, rather than a truely grassroots organization caring for the long term well being of such a lovely building.

  13. I agree with Gaynor's sensible and well-argued article. FKRL deserve the respect and continued support of their local community, and of others from around Brent who are fighting their own battles for what they believe is right. Although, for technical reasons, I have to use an "Anonymous" profile,
    I am happy to put my name at the end of this comment.

    Brent Councillors and Council Officers can learn a lesson from this drawn out episode, that it is far better to listen to reasonable people across the borough, and work with them for the benefit of our local communities. Whether they will, or not, remains to be seen. I hope that as many candidates as possible from my ward come to my doorstep between now and 22 May, so that I can ask them, face to face, where they stand on "local democracy".
    Philip Grant.


    F**** the Library it is a total election distraction.

    Brent does not need more libraries, we have excellent services.

    END OF!!!

    So if the hippies can leave the room and stop smoking blow and being so selfish.

    1. You are a Internet TROLL - bet you wouldn't say that to someones face would you?

    2. No problem saying it to your face.

      Are you at a festival or will your converted ambulance make it over?

      Wake up. I need lower council tax, My kids need schools, my mother needs hospitals and my brother needs local housing.

      Do we need a library NO SIR.



    3. Second that.

      Councillors have done a brilliant job.

      the library transformation project has been world class.

      we now have the best facilities in london

    4. May 22nd the rivers Alpheus and Peneus are scheduled for diversion?

    5. 10:58 - You are having a Laugh - Are you Cllr Powney>

  15. A major point in all of this is the loss of 80 % D1 community space with little in return. Plus fact that it was local community money in the first instance that built the old library and not All Souls money.

    Given that Brent Council is cutting services left right and centre, as they claim they do not have any money, I vote to hold out for the best deal possible even if this deals things a little longer.

    It would be better to hold out for a better deal, as the building is not going to suddenly disappear.

    It might appear politically more acceptable to simply accept the deal.

    However is Margaret Bailey chair of Trustees or is it Rachel Newberry ? Or who is the Chair ? A clear understand and minutes of the decision to accept the deal and who voted for the deal and if there was a split on the decisions what was the split ?

    More questions than answers, but hopefully FKRL see it is in their best interest to be honest and transparent.

    1. Agree - a clear and transparent statement by the Trustees on the deal it's cut with Andrew Gillick and All Souls is what's needed urgently. Anonymous comments by individual members/supporters isn't the way to handle this fractious issue. It would also help If the Trustees would clarify FKRL's position on the police investigation.

    2. Yet again silence from the organization we are suppossed to be trusting to secure the best out come for the whole community.

    3. Building is sold we do not own it....

      Slightly puts us in a weaker position just incase you did not realise.

  16. Well said, sensible Gaynor. All respect to FKRL. Few groups would have bothered to go to such pains to set out their reasoning in such a transparent way in these pages ('Why FKRL accepted developers offer' blog) and elsewhere.

    Unfortunately the developer not the community owns the building. The fact that there's any space at all left for a library is a remarkable achievement for FKRL. Better a library on most of the ground floor that everyone can access, than a thin dream that in many many years time, when the building has decayed, a church or a private nursery may occupy the rest of the building.

    Most people in this area understand the situation and of course, back FKRL.

    1. If you claim most people back FKRL why does it seem like there are some major disagreements ?

      It does not seem like the organization has convinced the local community as they are objecting to recent planning application ?

    2. Jodi is organising objections...

      criticising is easy...

      What are the alternatives?

  17. Interesting: "Barham are 'treated differently' because FKRL genuinely want to work together while Paul Lorber wants to play party politics" - Roxanne Mashari tweeting on 17 April.

    1. You are kidding

      FKRL want to work together ?

      All I can see is FKRL keeping their mouths closed despite all the requests from the community to show us the money !

    2. Alas, no joke. Cllr Mashari tweets @roxanne_mashari.

    3. Seems the Joke might be on Cllr Mashari with the Soap story that has become FKRL playing in front of our.

      Most people now seemed to be ashamed to be associated with such an unprofessional organization.

      We can all see why people have jumped ship, as the ship is sinking very rapidly now.

    4. Party politics all round Roxanne.

      You are out for yourself too!

  18. Interesting tweet from Cllr Roxanne Mashari: "Barham are 'treated differently' because FKRL genuinely want to work together while Paul Lorber wants to play party politics". Wonder what Gaynor makes of that? Perhaps Cllr Mashari will take the opportunity to state clearly whether she believes the planning hearing should be suspended until the police have reported.

    1. Gaynor has asked me to post this response: Someone drew my attention to this post. I didn’t know Roxanne had tweeted, as I don’t tweet myself. However, Roxanne emailed me at length privately having seen my blog, and I replied to her- similarly privately - by email. Suffice it to say that she - along with some Labour Party colleague councillor and MP - know why I wrote as I did, and that I stand by what I said

    2. LOL! Cllr Mashari doesn't like Gaynor's blog comment - '"my' library is Barham - which Brent Council and its Labour councillors treat somewhat differently from Kensal Rise', so writes to Gaynor. Good for Gaynor for sticking by what she said. Also noted that although Gaynor's had the decency to respond to the comment, Roxanne Mashari stays stum on the matter of suspending planning application until the police have reported.

    3. What's the police enquiry going to change?

      Even if the developer was found guilty or anyone else it would not make this application invalid.

      So seems little point in delaying application.

      Distraction tactics...

    4. Gaynor is married to a Labour candidate - so Roxanne Mashari's comment that the Barham campaign is all about Paul Lorber and the LibDems playing politics seems to be very far off the mark.

  19. Dan Filson has been given a hard task in this Ward.

    Wish him well, but given his experience he should have been given a safer seat than this one.

    Thought you were in for an easy ride ?

    Tough love Dan.

    1. Dan Filson also tweets - @Dan_Filson - but he hasn't tweeted this blog.

    2. Kind of you to say so, but my only ambition is to represent the ward in which I live.

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Legally there is a very strong reason for contract of Sale to not be a Legally binding agreement as per 15.1 as All Souls College had not right to pre determine the reduction in D1 to a minimum of 1500 sqf of D1 space.

      This is the very reason why for whatever a number of posters are very anger at FKRL as a number of us can see that if a Court ruled 15.1 invalid it would mean Gillick does not own the building.

      Surely it is in everyone's best interests to explore this possibility ?

      I trust FKRL will now agree to oppose the development.

      Surely we all want the building for the community not the developer ?

    2. 'As the person who secured release of the Option Agreement against the wishes of All Souls and Andrew Gillick, I'm pleased that Gaynor Lloyd has focused on this document in her blog.

      Contrary to what a number of commentators have asserted, the Agreement did not expire on 31 January 2013. (Cleverly) Tucked away in section 14 (General Provisions) is clause 14.7: 'For as long as an obligation under this Agreement remains to be performed then notwithstanding completion of the sale this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect' - link to the complete document is here

      31 January 2013 was the date on which contracts were exchanged between the college and the developer. All Souls remained the owner until on or soon after 31 January this year, the final day for completion of sale. One 'obligation' of the Agreement was vacant possession. That's why the pop-up was demolished on 31 January 2014.

      Gaynor Lloyd believes FKRL has 'played an absolute blinder'. I'm not so sure. My reading of the Agreement is that it might prove more of a Catch-22. Anonymous at 17 April 10.10 above has already pointed to clause 15.2.5: 'No restriction on the ability to make an application for planning permission' by the leasee of the D1 space. As Anonymous says, should FKRL be unable to become the legal leasee, could it be that the obligation in clause 15.2 of the Agreement has been fulfilled through All Souls' nomination of FKRL as the 'preferred tenant' - third party - in its current arrangement with the developer. This will be for lawyers to decide. As is often said - get 10 lawyers in a room and you'll get 10 different opinions. Challenging 15.2 - the terms of the lease of the D1 space - carries a financial burden (clauses 15.28/9). Other commentators have suggested further that the Agreement may not enforceable because of the pre-determination in claus 15.1.

      The Information Commissioner issued his Decision Notice on 4 March. All Souls had to comply by 8 April. Some might ask why FKRL didn't wait to sign its agreement as 'preferred tenant' until after the Option Agreement was released. Perhaps it was given no choice in the matter...?

    3. Meg you are an absolute thorn in the side of the community.

      Just remember every one of your FOI requests has cost the council tax payers of Brent a fortune. Money that would otherwise have been spent making Brent better.

      And for the record where do you live? Islington?

      Do you not think this option agreement has been (and all its obligations) superseded by subsequent sales agreements?

      It would be naive or stupid for you to think you know what is going on.

      Can you not find something else you could waste your time and council tax payers on?

      You are not a hero of the people, more like a squanderer of the public purse.

      The library is sold now to a private owner so I believe you FOI request should be coming to an end... thank the Lord.

    4. And who has the money to challenge the sale?

      Answer: NO ONE.

    5. An FoI request to All Souls College costs the Brent Council Tax payer NOTHING

    6. Anonymous, 10 April 20.45

      - the single FOI request I made to All Souls College cost the Brent council-tax payer nothing, as the poster at 17.05 today has already pointed out (to whom, thanks);

      - FKRL put in a similar request;

      - yes, I live in Islington. Likewise for the record, would you like to say who you are?

      - the Option Agreement hasn't been 'superseded by subsequent sales agreements', as a careful reading of 14.7 will make clear.

  21. Just spotted on FKRL's Twitter account: Post Edited: Easter Update - FKRL Supports the new planning application 14/0846

    Seems FKRL won't be calling a public meeting to discuss its position.

  22. Seems like Jodi was right on the other blog - that incorporating the SKRL library campaign into FKRL was a mistake - it has led to a disenfranchisement of the wider community.

    1. Seems that way. I'm on FKRL's email list but haven't received an update notifying me of the campaign's active backing of Andrew Gillick's latest planning application. Yet the the 'Easter' Update was written on 21 March - almost one month ago and first posted on Twitter on 2 April as 'Post Edited: April Update - Agreement to be signed'.

    2. Jodi loves conflict and fights.

      I hear she has antagonised All Souls, Gillick, SKRL and FKRL...

      Right at putting the campaign months if not years behind.

      Well done Jodi real community builder...

  23. Jodi right?

    I don't think so.

    She has alienated herself in the community.

    I believe she was asked to leave FKRL?

    1. Read the other thread before spreading nastyill-informed speculation. Jodi resigned.

  24. I wonder... could any of you 'anonymous' armchair detractors have done any better in the circumstances? Do you possess the imagination necessary to understand the effort and commitment undertaken to achieve this much? Would you have gotten off your backside put in the hours at the coalface, and fought as hard? The complexities here deserve better consideration and appreciation for having even got thus far. If you think you can do better... 'get up out of your chair; roll up your sleeves; come out of the shadows; and prove it'!

  25. Gaynor Lloyd states that 'All Souls sold to Andrew Gillick’s company'. It has to be asked, 'Which company was that'? Platinum Revolver, the company-name associated with Mr Gillick at the time the Option Agreement was signed in November 2012, appears to have been wound up in September 2013, days after the developer lost his original change-of-use planning application for KRL. A new company, Platinum Land, was registered on 24 September 2013. It's Annual Return was overdue on 1 April this year - see comment posted 15 April, 09.38 on previous WM blog

  26. Anonymous above (17 April 2014 21:46) sounds like a supporter of Andrew Gillick's first planning application where 'hippies' featured more than once amongst the supporting comments. The 'bullying and coercion' of councillors (above, 6 April 23:38) also made an appearance last year when it was alleged they were being 'bullied by a vocal minority' (28/08/2013) opposed to Mr G's development. The scare-tactic warning of the financial consequences of rejecting his first change-of-use scheme and pleading for support in comments from the developer's own office address on 28/08 2013 - 'Please support this application thus avoiding the council tax payers a costly appeal where the developer will be awarded costs no doubt' - is repeated on the previous WM blog 8 April 15.58 where a commentator says of deferral 'Great and the developer sues the council...and we are all out of pocket'

    The police inquiry in to the fake emails surrounding the developer's first application is ongoing. False names were used against genuine addresses in support of Mr Gillick's change of use of the Mark Twain library. The planning committee has yet to decide if it will defer his latest application. What's surprising is that Andrew Gillick doesn't support deferral. Doesn't he realise it's in his interests to clear the air on this matter?

    Kensal Rise Library is indeed a 'beautiful building' as a comment from Mr Gillick's St Mary's Mansions address supporting his original application states.

    1. Illegal to support the development of the building now and the creation of a new community facility?

  27. Different Perspective

    An alternative bid was submitted to All Souls College. The offer submitted subject to securing required funding from a number of sources, including Big Lottery Reaching Communities and Community Asset Transfer Unit. However it would ensure the building, in its entirety would remain D1 community space. The intention for the offered building and D1 community space was to transform the building into “Mark Twain Literary Centre,” that would draw on the business model and success of “Roald Dahl Story centre It would support and be an extension to local school literacy learning in more engaging and experiential ways. Outline business case of “Mark Twain Literary Centre” was submitted to Brent when Borough sought ideas in 2011. As a current Masters student at Goldsmiths, I am interested in social innovation and how community assets can be retained for the benefit and enjoyment of the community and not simply sold for development.
    Substantial attention has been focussed on (FKRL) and while sympathetic, the planning committee have to balance up wider needs of enhancing school learning provision in Brent. This is supported by recent consultations and updates to the National Planning Policy Framework with D1 class being prioritized for schools and nurseries, rather than residential. To provide clarity around changes to planning guidelines, it is suggested that the planning committee should immediately refer this planning application to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State can then consider the merits of approving such a major proposed planning change with an effective net loss of D1 space of 426 square metres with no commensurate offer in return for granting such development rights. Furthermore the aims and objectives of FKRL are rather restrictive in terms of external funding opportunities, as funders are unlikely to fund an organization who’s main aim and objective is a “Library provision.” A library provision is a statutory responsibility and therefore difficult for external funders to justify funding. Many might argue external funders should be financing libraries, given the scale of library provision budget cuts, but an organization with broader aims and objectives other than FKRL, might actually be more appropriate in any event to attract needed funds to maintain any community provision. While FKRL claim they have full community support, it should be brought to the attention of the planning committee, that a higher proportion of the community support the retention of the D1 community space that could be used to benefit the community as a whole. The provision of a library / bookstore, as what seems to be proposed by FKRL could easily be located adjacent in a number of retail shops that are closed, allowing the whole building to be developed and remain as D1.
    The Planning Committee should also be aware that the location of old Kensal Rise Library, Bathurst Gardens, London, NW10 5JA is located directly adjacent to area 033B, known as a Lower Layer Super Output Area with parts of Bathurst Gardens falling within the area of high and multiple deprivation.
    The Borough’s priority in areas of deprivation it is argued, should be to enhance and improve public services, that would result in the wider longer term impact of reducing social deprivation. Due consideration should be given for the Borough to conduct it’s own equality analysis, prior to any final determination of this planning application. In view of the fact the developer is proposing to reduce D1 community space by 426 sqm, an equality assessment does not seem to have been submitted or included in their submission.
    In view of the above, the planning committee should refuse the application and instead refer it to the Secretary of State for further consideration and clarity.

    1. Yes, hand over all the powers of local government back to central government - brilliant idea Toby! Is this why you want to become a councillor?

  28. Where were you for the last three years Toby?
    And why were you not campaigning for the community use of the building?
    Are you aware of the role of libraries in combatting social deprivation and unequal opportunities?
    A library is a free public space unlike any fee paying 'Roald Dahl' or 'Mark Twain Literary Centre'.
    This community wants a library at its centre and that is why it has supported the campaign. I am not sure where you get your evidence for what this community wants.