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 Kilburn & Brent News Stories

Yesterday, 14:05

Ingrid Schultz, 65, travelled abroad, dined out at restaurants and splashed out on shopping sprees after pocketing £10,000 over five years.

Yesterday, 17:10

The sausage dog, named Bob, was born completely deaf but is now on the lookout for his pawfect home thanks to The Mayhew.

Yesterday, 16:54

Police and the London Fire Brigade were called shortly before 1pm after 60mph winds blew off a section of roofing which fell outside Costa Coffee.

Yesterday, 13:40

Jurors failed to reach verdicts last week on charges of rape and sexual assault regarding an incident at York University in June 2014.

Yesterday, 12:26

Jason De Sousa, 21, was arrested yesterday and will appear at Hendon Magistrates Court today while a 20-year-old has been bailed until March.

Yesterday, 09:00

A sports centre in Sudbury is urging people to sign up for a charity swim.

Yesterday, 06:36

Shock figures have revealed that Brent has the highest number of newly reported cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the capital.

Wed, 16:42

A community centre in a deprived area in Queen’s Park which offers advice services for vulnerable residents has been praised by the mayor of Westminster.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read Kilburn News

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now