Kensal Rise Library campaigners petition All Souls

The Friends of the Kensal Rise Library has written to All Souls College to ask it to consider transferring the freehold of the library to the the library campaign group, so that the building may continue to be used as a library.

Margaret Bailey, director and trustee of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library, wrote to Professor Sir John Vickers, warden of All Souls College, last week, petitioning for the college to use its discretion in its disposal of the lease or freehold and "look beyond the merely financial aspects of this situation".

Brent Council closed the library last year, and at the end of May emptied the library of its books. The council then handed the keys back to All Souls College.

In the letter, Bailey argues that the freehold could not yet have reverted to the college, since the campaign group has been consistently running a "Kensal Rise Pop-Up Library" on library land since the closure of the council-run library.

Bailey then cites the requirements of the Charities Act 2011, which indicate that either the College sells the freehold, or "grants a lease, at the full market value, or that they authorise a transfer at less than market value to another charity, where the property will continue to be used for similar charitable purposes".

Bailey suggests that the Friends of Kensal Rise Library would be a suitable organisation to transfer the freehold to.

"If the Warden and the Fellows agree to such a transfer, it would not only restore to the community a much-needed facility, but would demonstrate your commitment to education in the broadest sense.

"It would show that the College is able to look beyond the merely financial aspects of this situation, and to recognise that the transfer of the library building back to the Friends of Kensal Rise Library would meet the spirit of the college's own charitable purposes as much today as their gift to our community did in 1900."