Boris set to save London libraries with private trust

Boris set to save London libraries with private trust

<p>Boris Johnson is set to announce plans tonight (Thursday 13th January) to set up a trust to run libraries in London that are at risk of closure, the London Evening Standard website reports.</p><p>The trust would be run by Team London, which Johnson is establishing this summer to bring together all his mentoring and volunteering projects. Private donors have already contributed &pound;2m for the trust, with banks and individuals set to be asked to top up funds.<br /><br />According to the report, the Mayor will tell the London Government dinner tonight: &quot;Why can&#39;t we use Team London to create a trust to manage and improve libraries on behalf of boroughs that can no longer afford to do it themselves?&quot; Large numbers of London&#39;s libraries are currently threatened with closure across the boroughs, including Lewisham where five libraries have been earmarked for the axe.</p><p>Tim Coates, chair of the campaign umbrella group Libraries for Life for Londoners, has described the news as &quot;fantastic&quot;, saying: &quot;It&#39;s a chance to make sure these libraries won&#39;t close and also to create an improvement programme so that they are better stocked and have longer opening hours. London is the learning capital of the world and deserves a service to match that.&quot;</p><p>In April 2010, Libraries for Life for Londoners issued a manifesto, calling for the Mayor to intervene personally over the state of London&#39;s libraries.</p>