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Brent Council spent £30,000 on study to determine what to do with Barham Library building

PUBLISHED: 19:37 04 May 2012 | UPDATED: 11:56 16 May 2012

Barham Library, which was closed last year alongside six other reading rooms. Camapigners claim the £30,000 spent on consultation is a waste of money.

Barham Library, which was closed last year alongside six other reading rooms. Camapigners claim the £30,000 spent on consultation is a waste of money.

Archant

Town hall spent thousands of pounds to decide what to do with axed branch

Council chiefs have been slammed for spending thousands of pounds on a study to determine what to with a former library building.

Barham Library in Harrow Road, Wembley, has been derelict since Brent Council closed it last year.

The branch, which would have celebrated its 60th birthday later this year, was axed alongside Kensal Rise, Cricklewood, Neasden, Tokyngton and Preston to save the town hall £1million.

However, the council has commissioned a £30,000 consultation study to decide what to do with it.

Volunteer group Friends of Barham Library (FOBL), which has been campaigning to run a community library in the space, have branded the study a waste of money. Cllr Paul Lorber, a member of the group, said: “In my view, as the buildings were gifted for the enjoyment of local people, they should be used to benefit them.

“Spending money on yet more consultants is a waste of money.”

The council’s Labour executive acts as trustee for the buildings, which were handed to the local authority in 1936 by the Barham Park Charity, and can make decisions on what to do with them.

A covenant attached to the building stipulates that it must be used to benefit local people

Cllr Lorber said: “The money would be better spent on repairs and on supporting local volunteer groups, such as Friends of Barham Library, who want to provide a valuable service to local people.”

A council spokesman said the feasibility study was approved by the Barham Park Trustees for future uses of the buildings and options for improving the open space.

He added: “Almost £620,000 has been raised by the sale of two houses and the aim is to use that money to pay for improvements. The money has to be used to further benefit the recreational enjoyment of the park by the public.”

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