Kensal Rise campaigners: 'no turnaround'

Kensal Rise campaigners: 'no turnaround'

The Friends of Kensal Rise Library have insisted their efforts to open a community library are ongoing, after a local councillor claimed they had brought an end to their campaign.

Members of the group took Brent Council to the High Court last year in a bid to keep a number of libraries in the area open. However, the council won the battle and closed six libraries, including Kensal Rise, which had originally been given to the council by All Souls College, Oxford, and was opened by Mark Twain in 1900.

The Friends group has since been seeking to take over the empty building and run it as a community library.

In his blog this week, local councillor James Powney, previously Brent council cabinet member for culture [including libraries], said: “In a remarkable turnaround the Friends of Kensal Rise Library have now written to Brent Council saying that they do not wish to run a library at the All Souls College owned building in Bathurst Gardens. How odd is that, after almost two years of campaigning for a library at that very site?”

However, Margaret Bailey from the Friends denied Powney's claim, asserting that they were continuing in plans to set up a community facility. She said: “No such letter has been written to the council. We are still preparing our proposal for running a community library to send to All Souls College.”