Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Kensal Rise Library 29th May 2012 Part 2

Read Part One of today's goings on

Read Maggie Gee's powerful plea in
the Guardian on 31st May 2012

And a comment from All Souls College in the Guardian to the effect that "we find it distressing. We had told the council that we would have been happy for them to have kept the library open, possibly through co-operation with the Friends of Kensal Rise Library, who had developed an interesting business plan. This was not to be, however"

Aliens? Well, you could say that, but it might be unfair to aliens.

Sorry my filming skills aren't up to much. It's mainly for the chanting anyway. (Enviro/Video activist Lorraine... where were you?)

Just back from Kensal Rise Library where a large group of us waited for Mo Butt's promised visit. And... he came... he smiled... he waffled... he swore on the life of his children... he gave no clear assurances or reassurances or explanations of anything. That's the summary - but there's more below if you can be bothered. But first here are some pictures

The questions were generally much better than Mo's answers. Pertintent and to the point (and polite on the whole). He was asked

By a vicar "Why can't the Friends of Kensal Rise library have a crack at running the library... it would be an easy community win"

By a Willesden Green library supporter "Why are you surreptitiously mismanaging the libraries and treating Brent as your personal fiefdom?"

By a boy "why are you stopping kids from reading?"

By a campaigner "so who does the building belong to now then?"

By Rachael "Are you saying as Leader of the Council that you didn't know that the books were going to be taken out in the middle of the night?"

By a campaigner "Will you keep the books intact? Will you try to promise it?"

By a campaigner who was present when the books were removed "Why was there such a heavy police presence of 15 officers when there were only 5 women there?"

By Maggie Gee "If you want Labour to be forgiven round here you must act quickly. Will you bring back the plaques?"

By Margaret "Why did you jeopardise our position by triggering the reverter of the library building to All Souls College?"

By a campaigner "Is it fair to say that you are very embarrassed by the whole situation?"

Mo's replies were "All Souls College have been telling us to take everything out of the library... I've always made it clear that I will support you guys... I made it absolutely clear that the books were going to come out... I didn't realise they were going to come out so quickly...The murals are safe and sound... When we negotiate with All Souls for the library to come to you we'll get the murals back...The books were part of an Executive decision to be distributed between the other libraries... I can't promise it... It will be looked into..."

Read the Kilburn Times report

And Michael Rosen has put us on his blog

More later


  1. Yes, that swearing on the life of his children was extraordinary. I can't ever imagine doing that, even to promise night follows day.


    1. Nor me - but then he didn't even go on to tell us anything worthwhile

  2. Who authorised the ugly pre-dawn raid under police escort? As leader of the Council, Mo Butt is ultimately responsible - perhaps he gave the order personally. This seems to me to be a resigning matter, so clearly anti-democratic - to avoid resident opposition - was it in intent. Cllr Butt is on Twitter @lwxmb19. I have already tweeted the above comment to him.

    1. we never found that out. Mo said that he found out about it at midnight, but at one point claimed that the police had decided when it should be carried out (to general disbelief)! It's worrying how he couldn't seem to see that the midnight raid was a problem as "I've always made it clear that the books will be removed"

  3. I find it very interesting that Cllr. Butt said that the books would be distributed between the other libraries. I worked for Brent Libraries up to August of last year when there were still 12 branches. Some of those branches had piles of boxes of new books which couldn't be squeezed onto the shelves. There will certainly be no room for these books in the 6 surviving branches. It looks as if the motive for removing the books is to ensure that the reverter of the building to All Souls is triggered.

    1. Funny that, Karl - we had just the same thought - that Brent were deliberately jeopardising the Friends' chances of taking over the building for the benefit of local residents. But why would a council act in such a spiteful and short sighted way? It's back to Private Eye for Brent I fear. Good to hear from you too X


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