Kensal Rise Library campaigners write an open letter to All Souls College

11:28 05 November 2012

Campaigners have been fighting to save Kensal Rise Library

Campaigners have been fighting to save Kensal Rise Library


Angry crusaders vow to take their fight to the streets in Oxford

Angry campaigners, who were told that a Victorian building they wished to run a community library from would be turned into flats by their millionaire Oxford College owners, have written an open letter urging them to reconsider and will be taking their fight to the streets.

Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FOKR) have written to the warden and fellows of All Souls College in Oxford condemning the plans which will see the majority of the building in Bathurst Gardens, Kensal Rise, given way to property developers.

Under the College’s proposal, a small space on the existing site will be offered for library use at a market rent however this is considered to be unworkable.

A similar idea is being lined up for Cricklewood Library in Olive Road, which is also owned by the college.

In the letter, which has been sent to all the fellows of the college, Margaret Bailey, a member of FOKR accuses them of a “breach of faith”

It says: “We represent a larger community that sees the college’s current proposal as nothing short of a breach of faith with this relatively poor area of north-west London, from which it has already profited handsomely.

“Although the college donated the land, the library building was not paid for by the college, but by public subscription and a donation from Andrew Carnegie, the philanthropist.”

The Friends and their supporters will be taking their campaign to Oxford on Saturday November 10 with the hope that many of the fellows will take the opportunity to come and speak to them to discuss a more meaningful future.

All Souls’ College insisted that their plans could still benefit the community.

A spokesman told the Times: “This campaign has been about library services and library services will continue in that area.”

Last year Brent Council permanently shut down Kensal Rise and Cricklewood Libraries alongside four others.

Kensal Rise and Cricklewood Libraries were reverted back to All Souls College earlier this year who are now responsible for them.

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