Brent Council strips axed Cricklewood Library of all its contents

Building targeted weeks after Kensal Rise branch is emptied in the middle of the night

�Another Brent library has been stripped of its books, this time the axed branch in Cricklewood.

Following the recent night raid on Kensal Rise Library in Bathurst Gardens, campaigners spotted workers in the building in Olive Road, Cricklewood, dismantling furniture and other shelving.

Sonja Nerdrum, a member of the Friends of Cricklewood Library and campaign group Brent SOS Libraries, said: “It’s not clear what brief the contractors were given or what is to happen to the valuable fixtures, but the workmen, who were very polite, were under the impression that everything was to go to the dump.

“If true, this would be yet more evidence of the council’s careless waste of property belonging to the community.”

The campaigner also saw archive material lying in a heap on the floor and questions where it will be housed, as the main archive in Willesden Green Library is also set to close for two years for redevelopment.

She said: “With archive storage facilities still in situ at Cricklewood, how could the council have refused to reopen the library during the closure?

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“The archives could have gone straight back to their old home – one of the points the campaigners made forcibly in letters addressed to chief executive Gareth Daniel earlier this year.”

Representatives from Brent SOS Libraries have requested a meeting with the new leader Cllr Muhammed Butt who, to date, has spoken only to Friends of Kensal Rise.

There is 24-hour on-site security at Cricklewood Library on the instructions of All Souls College in Oxford, which now owns the building.

A council spokesman denied the library’s contents would be thrown away.

He said: “That’s absolute nonsense. We will look at each book and those in good condition will be reused and shared among the remaining libraries and the furniture will be recycled and used by other council departments or partners, such as voluntary groups.”