Asset of Community Value bid for axed library in Wembley
PUBLISHED: 14:39 17 October 2014
Library campaigners are set to lodge a bid to have an axed branch in Wembley listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
The move is aimed to bring community group Friends of Preston Library (FoPL) a step closer to operating a community run reading room at the defunct site in Carlton Avenue East.
It would also scupper any chance of potential resale of the site to anyone else for six months.
Philip Bromberg, chair of FoPL said: “It is an important indication that the building is an asset to the community which needs to be maintained for community use.
He continued: “Many people approach us to say how much the library is missed. It was a hub which provided internet and wifi services and also a place for children to go and study for their exams.”
“We are confident that we will be able to operate a library at the site in the near future.”
The building, which is owned by the council, is one of six libraries shut down by Brent Council in 2011 to save the council £1million.
It is currently being used as a temporary classroom for children while their nearby primary school is being expanded. FoPL hope to operate a volunteer-led library once the pupils move back to their main school site.
If the bid is successful, the library will join Kensal Rise Library, in Bathurst Gardens, and Queensbury pub, in Walm Lane, as one of only three structures to be granted the prestigious ACV listing.
FoPL hosted a special event to mark the third anniversary since the closure of Preston, Barham, Cricklewood, Neasden, Kensal Rise and Tokyngton libraries in the borough on Saturday.
Former lead member lead member for environment and neighbourhoods, Cllr Roxanne Mashari, made a pre-election pledge to allow the community group to run a library in the axed reading room at “at a peppercorn rent.”
Cllr James Denselow, who took up the role of lead member for stronger communities, position post-election, said: “While we will not shy away from our pre-election pledge, the devil will be in the detail and we will have to go through the necessary systems.
“We are committed to support community run libraries and I am backing the bid for Preston Library to be listed as an Asset of Community Value.”
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