A crowded public meeting of the Preston Library Campaign heard speakers from Brent Labour, Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, Greens and TUSC on the future of the closed Brent libraries. A full account of the meeting can be found HERE on my colleague Shahrar Ali's blog.
At the end of the meeting a show of hands clearly demonstrated support for a professionally staffed and publicly funded library with a slightly lower number in favour of a volunteer run library. However, afterwards some indicated if a voluntary run library was the only solution they would reluctantly support that.
Cllr Roxanne Mashari, lead member for environment, was clear that no budget existed for a re-opening of the library due to central government cuts in local authority funding. She cited her negotiations with the Friends of Kensal Rise Library as a precedent for Preston.
She said that when the ex-Preston Library building was no longer required by Preston Park Primary School in a year's time, the Council would be willing to rent it out to a voluntary group at a peppercorn rent. The Council would also be prepared to give the building ACV (Asset of Community Value) status. All this would be conditional on a robust business plan for the project.