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

52 minutes ago

Attacker’s girlfriend called him an ‘animal’

09:58
Police at the scene in Cadogan Square on Friday (Pic credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire)

One of the two removal men who died when balcony railings gave way as they carried a sofa into a flat in Knightsbridge has been named as a 29-year-old from Wembley.

Travellers can now change trains at Bond Street (Picture: Katie Collins/PA)

Jubilee Line customers will be able to alight and change at Bond Street from today again after works on the station finished ahead of schedule.

Kathrina Berry-Cronin has been found

A 16-year-old girl who went missing from Brent has been found safe and sound.

Most read news

The new legislation is being backed up by an anti-terrorism awareness drive by police forces nationwide.

More than 170,000 tweets have been posted in the last three days using the hashtag #CameronMustGo.

Computer firm Symantec discover malware so sophisticated, they say it suggests government involvement.

The tragic police shooting of a boy in Cleveland prompts state legislators in Ohio to consider new laws for replica guns.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Brent & Kilburn Times e-edition today E-edition