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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Preston Library Building Returns

The fate of the former Preston Library building is on the agenda of Brent Council's next Cabinet.  Officer preference is to buy the adjacent plot and use the site for housing, which would be eminently sensible.  This does, however, run into objections from the former Preston Library group who have been demanding the building be handed over to them.

This was a demand over a long period of time with which Cllr Muhammed Butt has played along.  At times the group has been given a more realistic assessment, which they have preferred not to believe.  Given that they have repeatedly been given mixed messages, it is perhaps not surprising that they preferred the one that was closer to their own views.  It was summed up in an "offer" made shortly before polling day in 2014.

The main problem with this offer is that it cannot be reconciled with Brent Council's fiduciary duty, as I have pointed out before

The planned redevelopment includes a community space (D1 class), which the Preston group wants to be handed to it for free.  Again this would be in breach of the Council's duty, and the situation is further complicated by the building's status as an asset of community value, which I shall deal with in a different post.

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