BREAKING NEWS: Brent Council to close six libraries in the borough despite residents’ protests

Report sounds the death knell for reading rooms in Barham Park, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise, Neasden, Preston, and Tokyngton

IT IS the final chapter for half the libraries in the borough after a report released today (Monday) recommends they close for good.

Last November, the Times revealed Brent Council were planning to close reading rooms in Barham Park, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise, Neasden, Preston, and Tokyngton as part of their Libraries Transformation Project to save �1million.

A three-month consultation process was rolled out and residents across the borough launched campaigns to fight for their beloved branches.

But, in the 178-page report by Brent Council it sounded the death knell for all six branches by stating ‘officers believe that the recommended new library offer within the Libraries Transformation Project meets the statutory duties of the Council in respect of its library services’.

The decision is a heavy blow to the crusaders who left no stone unturned during their fight.

Vigorous campaigns across Brent resulted in hundreds of residents turned out in their droves to air their concerns at public and council meetings, while celebrities including Kilburn-raised award-winning writer Zadie Smith and ex-Waterstones boss Tim Coates spoke out about the plans.

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In a united effort to save their branches, several counterproposals that would see their branches converted into a charity run by volunteers - therefore minimising costs, were presented to the council.

Other ideas included reducing opening times of the six branches.

David Butcher, a father-of-two from Burrows Road, Kensal Rise, has been campaigning vehemently to save his local branch.

He told the Times he was disappointed with the council’s decision.

He said: “It enormously disappointing that the council have chosen to brush aside the responses that the threatened libraries have made during the consultation process.

“They do in terms that appear to show contempt for the people who actually bothered to fill in the questionnaires.

“We will never the less continue the fight to keep Kensal Rise library open.”

Will the closures have a devestating effect on you?

If so call the news desk on 020 7433 6228 or email