Dec 13 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
BRENT Council has spent more than £250,000 on empty library buildings in the last year, it has been revealed.
A Freedom of Information request submitted to the borough council showed that £263,089 has been spent on rent and maintenance on the buildings themselves from October 2011 to October this year.
Six libraries were closed by the council in 2011, Neasden, Tokyngton, Kensal Rise, Cricklewood, Preston Road and Barham Park, and many campaigners are still trying to get their branch reopened.
The FoI request asked for maintenance costs for each library, which totalled £128,401, and other costs incurred in relation to the building, which totalled £134,688.
The Neasden library building in Neasden Lane showed the highest individual cost for other expenditure at £31,430. It is now being leased to a church group.
Councillor Paul Lorber, Lib Dem group leader, said: “Labour councillors should be ashamed for spending so much to keep library buildings empty when the same money would have been better spent supporting local volunteers across Brent who are willing to help provide library services from these buildings.”