Search

Alan Bennett backs crusade to save Kensal Rise Library

14:05 25 May 2011

Alan Bennett reads at a fundraiser for Kensal Rise Library

Alan Bennett reads at a fundraiser for Kensal Rise Library

Jonathan Goldberg 07958 229 037

Author said closing libraries is child abuse during campaign event

Author Alan Bennett put Kensal Rise Library on the map last night after making controversial comments during a campaign event to save the reading room from closure.

The 77-year-old author told a packed audience that “closing libraries is child abuse” during a speech at the sold-out event held in St Martins Church in Mortimer Road, Kensal Green.

Mr Bennett added that he felt morally obliged to take part in the campaign and that “once a library goes, it doesn’t come back”.

He said he did not support the plan to have a super-library in Brent and said that “libraries have to be local… the early part of a child’s reading life is vital”.

The Talking Heads and Madness of King George playwright also read from his diaries to the audience of more than 400 people.

Kensal Rise Library in College Road is one of six in the borough which will close its doors for good in the summer.

Tokyngton, Preston, Barham Park, Neasden and Cricklewood libraries are also facing the axe in a cost-cutting exercise to save Brent Council £1million.

Margaret Bailey, co-chair of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library which is running the campaign, said: “Not only was it a great honour to have such a great writer at our event. It was heartening to have someone of that stature support our campaign.

“He’s regarded with lots of affection by people. He himself acknowledged that he would not be where he is now without having access to libraries growing up.”

The event raised several thousand pounds which will be used to mount a legal challenge against Brent Council.

Ms Bailey said: “Mr Bennett was fully supportive of that.”

She also praised people from the community who helped out, including the local vicar and people who donated cakes, food and drink for the event.

Library campaigners have written to Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, urging him to step in to overturn the decision made by Brent Council.

The council announced all six libraries would be axed despite 82 per cent of residents who took part in a consultation process saying they were against the closures.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

17 minutes ago
Che Wellington was stabbed to death in Kenton (Pic: Facebook)

Detectives investigating the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old boy at a birthday party in Kenton have charged four more people with his murder.

Harisa Bhatti, 17, won a Sir Jack Petchey award for her courageous efforts to bring her best friend home to the UK

A schoolgirl who won a battle for her best friend to return to the UK after she was taken abroad against her will has been given a prestigious charity award.

Yesterday, 12:22
The stabbing took place in Besant Way (Pic: Google)

A man has been repeatedly stabbed on a street in the St Raphael’s Estate in Neasden.

Yesterday, 12:16
Police are looking to trace Nour Hijazi, 12, who has been missing from Queen's Park since Tuesday

Police have launched a search for a 12-year-old schoolgirl who has been missing from Queen’s Park since Tuesday.

Yesterday, 12:02
Bladi Bar is in Harlesden (Pic: Google)

A noisy bar owner from Harlesden who repeatedly played loud dance music that prevented exasperated neighbours from getting a good night’s sleep has been fined more than £1,200.

Yesterday, 11:37
Have you say on the plans for Old Oak Common plans in Harlesden

The first public consultation into plans by the Mayor of London to transform Old Oak Common in Harlesden into a brand new city is taking place today.

Wed, 17:43
Alison Saunders is the Director of Public Prosecution (Picture: GLENN COPUS©)

The Director of Public Prosecutions has won a High Court case for a Willesden teenager to stand trial for impersonating his friend and doing his community service for him.

Wed, 17:15
Denny De Silva has been jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 27 years

A man found guilty today of the murder of a 20-year-old shot dead in a street in Sudbury has been jailed for life.

Breaking News

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe