Nov 17 2010 Harrow Observer
BRENT Council has agreed, in principle, to closing up to half of the borough's libraries.
Six of the 12 libraries in Brent are under threat and a consultation with local residents will now begin, after the Labour-run council voted through the proposal on Monday.
The libraries affected are Barham Park, Cricklewood, Neasden, Tokyngton, Kensal Rise and Preston. If they are all closed, it could save the council £1million.
Presenting the plans to the council executive, planning and culture leader Councillor James Powney (Kensal Green, Labour), said: "Willesden Green is our most successful library but Kensal Rise, our worst, has only one-tenth of the visitors.
"We cannot afford to keep all these libraries open all the time."
The leader of the opposition Lib Dems, Councillor Paul Lorber (Sudbury) asked the executive to ensure the forthcoming consultation gave residents every chance to explain why their local library should be saved.
He said: "If you are going to consult you need to do it properly. One community that will be particularly affected is the local primary schools. They will tell you that their local library is a crucial part of the education system. For some pupils there is not a great deal of money at home to buy books so libraries are important."
The public consultation will run from November 29 until March 4 next year. Residents can complete a survey online at www.brent.gov.uk/consultations and also email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.