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Kensal Rise Library campaigners take their fight to the streets of Oxford

PUBLISHED: 11:31 12 November 2012

Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library gather outside All Souls College on Saturday.

Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise Library gather outside All Souls College on Saturday.

Archant

Crusaders gather outside All Souls College who own the building which was closed by Brent Council

An army of library campaigners descended on Oxford this weekend to protest at proposed plans to convert their former home into flats.

Members of the Friends of Kensal Rise (FOKR) gathered outside All Souls College in Oxford on Saturday (10), to garner support for their campaign and attempt to talk to the warden and fellows of the college.

The college, which was established in the 1400’s, donated both Kensal Rise and Cricklewood Libraries to Brent Council in the late 1800’s.

However, earlier this year, following their closure by the council alongside four other reading rooms, they reverted back to the college, leaving them responsible for their future.

In a desperate attempt to garner support the friends raised more than £80,000 and put forward a proposal to run their own community library which was rejected in favour of a property developer who wants to build flats.

A small space would be set aside for a library but campaigners claim it is not enough.

Margaret Bailey, a member of FOKR, told the Times the day was a success.

She said: “We had a good number of people turning up and a lot of local support.

“Some undergraduates joined in with the protest and the student newspaper covered it as well.

“A lot of people were very shocked by what has been going on.”

Although campaigners did not speak directly to anyone attached with the college, a further meeting has been set up between campaigners and the college for later this month.

Ms Bailey added: “It was a great atmosphere and I think we put our name out there.”

All Souls have insisted negotiations are not finalised but that their current proposal would benefit the community as library services would continue.


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