Brent Council accused of allowing former library building to fall into disrepair

Barham Park Library was closed in 2011

Barham Park Library was closed in 2011 - Credit: Archant

Brent Council has been accused of deliberately trying to destroy an axed library branch by allowing it to fall into disrepair through neglect.

Paul Lorber, former leader of the Brent Liberal Democrats, claims the former site of Barham Park Library, in Harrow Road, is rotting away with unpainted window frames, cracked masonry, and disconnected downpipes which cause water leaks.

He said despite the council claiming to have spent thousands on improvements the state of the building has deteriorated through bad repairs. He added: The council neglect is a disgrace and something now needs to be done about it.”

The building and the surrounding Barham Park was left to the council by Titus Barham following his death in 1936. The philanthropist also supported local causes such as Wembley Hospital, Barham School, and Sudbury Tennis Club.

The building opened as a library in 1952 until it was closed alongside Kensal Rise, Cricklewood, Tokyngton, Preston and Neasden in 2011 to save £1million a year.

Mr Lorber, who has been vehemently fighting to have the branch reopened, said: “The Barham Park buildings are locally listed and should be used for the benefit of local people as Titus Barham intended. Instead, they stand empty and Brent Council is allowing them to rot.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council said: “The Barham Park Trust has spent some £224,000 on refurbishing the main buildings in the park between October 2013 and March 2014.

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“As part of these works, some areas of damp were discovered in one of the old buildings and this needs to be evaluated before any further remedial action is considered by the council.”o