Brent library campaigners will take to the streets to highlight their plight
Protest march from Preston Library to Kingsbury on Saturday
Campaigners fighting to save their beloved library from closure will hold a protest march this weekend highlighting the inaccessibility of their nearest remaining centre.
Protesters at Preston Road Library will march from South Kenton station to Kingsbury Library as part of an ongoing campaign this Saturday.
The resource centre, on Kingsbury High Road, has been flagged up by the council as the nearest library to Preston Road and former users of Preston Road have been encouraged to use it.
Last month campaigners fighting to stop the closure of Preston, Kensal Rise, Tokyngton, Barham Park, Cricklewood and Neasden libraries lost a judicial review which could have overturned the decision by Brent Council. However, they have lodged an appeal which is expected to be heard next week.
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Phillip Bromberg, one of the campaigners fighting to save Preston Road branch, said residents were worried about the long journey some of them may face to get to an alternative library.
He said: “People are annoyed with a number of things the council has said. For example they have repeatedly told us that nobody in Brent will be more than 1.5 miles away from a library. We want to prove that this is not true.”
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Samantha Warrington said that the closures resulted in children having little do last week during half-term.
She said: “We struggled to keep our children occupied without the library. Many had no choice but to roam the streets.’’ The campaigners, who have also handed in a petition asking culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to intervene, have been backed by Cllr Paul Lorber, leader of Brent Lib Dems, who offered his ‘whole-hearted’ support to the crusade.
He said: “For many elderly residents or those with children it will be a very difficult walk and hopefully this will highlight that.”
However, James Powney, lead member for environment and neighbourhoods, said that residents would not struggle with getting the most out of the boroughs remaining libraries.
He said: “There are other modes of transport people can use and for those who are disabled or struggling, we have an outreach service in place to deliver books to them.”
Everyone is welcome to take part in the walk which starts outside South Kenton Train Station on Saturday at 1.30pm.