Local residents in Tokyngton have expressed concern that closing Tokyngton library before the new Civic Centre Library is open would lead to young people in large parts of Tokyngton and Stonebridge wards will be without somewhere to study.
The Council’s own figures show that 58% of the regular users of Tokyngton library are aged under 19 – meaning young people from Tokyngton ward and Stonebridge ward make up the majority of library users.
Liberal Democrat councillors have echoed the concerns of residents slamming the decision of Labour-run Brent Council to close 6 of the borough’s libraries, saying it would have a massive effect on young people in the borough at a time when they would most need to use library facilities.
Tokyngton library is located on Monks Park, on the border of the Tokyngton and Stonebridge wards in Brent. Closing this library, before the new Civic Centre library is built, will mean young people will have to travel all the way to Willesden, Harlesden or the Town Hall to visit a library for their studies.
Local residents are calling on the Council to keep the library open for young people, at least until the new Civic Centre library opens in 2013.
Speaking about the library, local resident, Peter Corcoran said:
“Over half the people who use Tokyngton library are under 19. Young people use the library to study and learn and I’m very concerned about the impact closing the library will have on their education. This library serves some of the poorer parts of the borough and is a vital resource to many youngsters.
I just can’t believe that Brent’s Labour Town Hall bosses are happy to do this to young people. I can’t help but wonder how they intend to explain to the people of Stonebridge and Tokyngton why they’ve chosen to ignore the views of local people and close our library.”
Cllr Paul Lorber, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group who are campaigning to stop the closures added:
“Labour councillors were shown, quite clearly, the effect closing 6 libraries would have on young people in Brent. They chose to ignore the evidence. Over 50% of the users of the 6 libraries now facing closure are under 19. Young people use the libraries to study and learn, taking this much needed facility away can only do harm to their education. Labour councillors should be ashamed.”