Nov 22 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
CAMPAIGNERS who are fighting for a community library took their case to the heart of a city which houses some of the world’s intellectual elites.
A bus-load of people supporting Friends of Kensal Rise travelled to Oxford to highlight their concerns about a deal being struck by the owners of the former library building in Bathurst Gardens to be redeveloped into flats.
More than 50 people of all ages spent the day, on Saturday, November 10, in the city centre talking to students and shoppers about on-going negotiations with the owners, All Souls College, which is part of Oxford University.
Margaret Bailey, of Friends of Kensal Rise Library, said: “People were very supportive and interested in what we had to say and in the history of our library and the campaign. It was a peaceful and very buoyant. We spoke to trustees and they said they had been receiving contradictory messages about what was going on.”
Possession of the library building passed to the All Souls College after it was closed by Brent Council in October 2011, along with five other of the borough’s 12 libraries.
Now the college is in negotiations with a property developer to sell the building.
Under the current proposal the building would be turned into flats and the Friends would have a space on the ground-floor to run a community library, but the Friends, whose proposal to take control of the building was turned down by the college, are not happy with this arrangement.
No final agreement has been made by the owner and the campaigners say they hope another developer will offer ‘a better deal’ for a community library.
Ms Bailey said she was due to have a meeting with the developers and All Souls and discussions were ongoing.