Axed library staff get �250k payout from Brent Council

Workers made redundant following closure of six branches

Brent Council has paid out more than a quarter of a million pounds in redundancy money to staff following the closure of six libraries in the borough.

Earlier this month High Court judge, Mister Justice Ouseley, ruled that the Labour-run local authority can close half of the borough’s 12 libraries.

According to the council, 24 members of staff have been made redundant – five compulsory and 19 voluntary. The average payout was nearly �10,000.

Councillor Paul Lorber, leader of the opposition Brent Liberal Democrat group, said: “Paying out such a massive sum just shows how wasteful and badly judged these actions have been.”


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Last week campaigners continued the fight to save Kensal Rise, Barham Park, Tokyngton, Preston, Cricklewood and Neasden libraries by lodging an appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice.

It was agreed no irrevocable steps should be taken before their case is heard in the Court of Appeal next month.

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This includes boarding up Kensal Rise Library, a Victorian reading room opened by American author Mark Twain in 1900, which has been guarded by dedicated supporters around the clock.

However, campaigners will have to pay for the cost of security out of their own pockets. The Times understands this could set them back nearly �10,000, or �408 a day.

Speaking after the case, campaigner Laura Collignon said: “We are extremely pleased that the case has got to the Court of Appeal so quickly and that Kensal Rise Library will not be boarded up.”

A council spokeswoman said it was necessary to make the redundancies to make way for the new library service. She added: “This reorganisation is a key element of that project.

“Following the Court of Appeal giving leave to appeal, Brent has agreed to halt certain further actions.”

Last week campaigners took their case once again to the Royal Courts of Justice where it was agreed no irrevocable steps should be taken before the case is heard in the Court of Appeal.

This includes boarding up Kensal Rise Library, a Victorian reading room opened by American author Mark Twain in 1900, which has been guarded by dedicated supporters around the clock.

However, campaigners will have to pay for the cost of security out of their own pocket which the Times can reveal could set them back nearly �10,000 - �408 a day.

Lord Justice Elias agreed the case should be heard and it is expected to take place over a day-and-a-half in November.

The matter of who should pay court costs will be decided at the end of hearing.

Speaking after the case, Laura Collignon, campaigner, said: “We are absolutely delighted we have been given permission to appeal and are grateful to our lawyers who have moved mountains for us over the last few days.

“We are extremely pleased that the case has got to the Court of Appeal so quickly and that Kensal Rise Library will not be boarded up.”

The council has already closed Kensal Rise, Barham Park, Tokyngton, Preston, Cricklewood and Neasden libraries.

The move will save the council �1million.

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