Sunday, 4 September 2016

Broken promises threaten future of Preston Community Library

From Philip Bromberg of Preston Community Library

On September 13, Brent Council's Cabinet will consider plans to re-develop the Preston Library site. The intention is to build flats and a new 'community space'. These plans are a serious threat to the existence of  Preston Community Library, and we need to act now.

As most of you will know, in May 2014 Brent Labour Party made an election promise to "offer the building at a peppercorn rent to any local group who can provide a sustainable community library. We will not open to competitive tender in order to give preference to local groups". But, under the current plans, the new community space will be offered for open market tender, with an anticipated rental income of £51,000.

Please write now - today or tomorrow - to Mo Butt, the Leader of the Council, . Please tell him that we wish to continue to operate in the existing building, and ask him to guarantee that any new community space will contain a library at least as large as the current library, and that it will be offered at a peppercorn rent as he himself promised two years ago. If you prefer to phone him, his mobile number is 07867 169 879.

Please also contact your local ward councillors. For Preston ward, these are Matt Bradley,  Jean Hossain, and Pat Harrison, .

With your support over the last five years (and, incidentally, with the support of several sympathetic councillors), we created Preston Community Library, and that's something we should all be immensely proud of. At the moment, despite considerable obstacles caused by our licence, we continue to run a fully functioning public library at virtually no cost to the Council. Our English classes, our IT classes, our art class, our storytime sessions for children, our wonderful community cinema - all of these and more are now under threat.

I urge every single one of you to contact our councillors today to ask them to protect our library. Please copy me in to any correspondence. If any of you want to read the report, it is HERE

With thanks,

Chair, Preston Community Library,

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