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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Predictable Problems at Brent Community Libraries

I have been reading the recently available minutes of the last Brent Cabinet meeting.  They read like a group of people each of whom, is desperate not to say to say "no" to the Preston group but all of whom are at some level uneasily aware of the problems around fiduciary duty and asset of community value at the Preston Annex site. 

It is striking to see how some of the obvious trends coming to pass as I predicted.  I see that Mr Bromberg made a direct link between supposed peppercorn rents at allotments, and the use of a peppercorn rent at the Preston building.  I would have thought that the comparison between an allotment and a fairly substantial building is quite different.  I wasn't aware that allotments had peppercorn rents anymore.  My memory is that the allotment strategy introduced charging which the users certainly did not feel was negligible.  The new fees were part of the effort to control the ever rising waiting lists that we had identified, an effort that was successful

I also note that there is already an effort to spread whatever is done at Barham, and then at Preston to Kensal Rise.  These three buildings all have quite different circumstances of course, with Kensal Rise not having any Council involvement at all.  Nonetheless, it isn't hard to foresee that any deal for one group will lead numerous other groups to complain that they are not being treated in the same way. 

This situation is being obviously mismanaged by Cllr Butt and will lead to another Dollis Hill House saga, although in this case one spread across multiple sites all over the Borough.

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