Category: Uncategorized


A Planning Inspector will hold “informal sessions” to consider Brent Councils Appeal against Refusal of their planning application on Tuesday 22 July at the Civic Centre Empire Way starting at 10a.m.

Brent Council submitted a planning application to change the use of the closed Library space and other parts of the building away from general ‘community uses’. they did os to enable ACAVA to convert most of the building to 29 artist Sudios for rent.

Friends of Barham Library and others opposed this. The Planning application was REFUSED by the Planning Committee by 6 votes to 1 in November 2013.

Despite this clear decision the Labour Councillors running Brent decided to use taxpayers money to Appeal against the decsion of the Council’s own Planning Committee. The Appeal will be decided by an independent Planning Inspector and this is why they are holdling these informal session.

Friends of Barham Library will make represenations to the Planning Inspector and continue to oppose the Appeal as the consequence is the effective taking away of the buildings in Barham Park away from local people.

The actions of Brent Council are a direct contradiction with the agreement of 22 October 1936 when Titus Barham gifted his home to the people of Wembley when he expressed his wish as follows:

“The settlor is desirous that (his home and gardens) shall be preserved for and dedicated to the recreation of the public”

In our view Brent Council should honour this wish.



Extra Days at Sudbury Town Underground Station

We are experimenting with a new opening day at Sudbury Town Volunteer Library & Bookshop (entrance on Station Approach side and buses 204 and 245 stop right outside). For the next few weeks we’ll have a trial Friday opening.

This means Sudbury will be open 5 days per week as follows:

Tuesday 3:30 to 6:30p.m.

Wednesday 3:30 to 6:30p.m.

Thursday 3:30 to 6:30p.m.

Friday 3:30 to 6:30p.m.

Saturday 11a.m. to 2p.m. (Arts & Crafts Club for young people)

We are also having a BIG BOOK SALE as we received loads of new donations and need to make some space. All our paperbacks are just £1 and every sale helps us to grow our activities.

Please come along to borrow, swap or buy a book and support our campaign to get back into the closed Library building in Barham Park.

Our shop at 428 High Road Wembley (just beyond Argos and Daniels Estate Agents – buses 18, 83, 92 and 182 stop just outside) has an even greater stock of books. We are holding a BIG BOOK SALE there too so pop in during our opening times on Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays 12 to 5p.m.

If you are looking for a particular author or book or a topic email us on and we’ll check if we have the book in stock.

Friends of Barham Library build new Wembley Stadium from books.

with Friends of Barham Library build new Wembley Stadium from books.

To celebrate England’s participation in the Soccer World Cup in Brazil just 100 days. Volunteers at Friends of Barham Library built a version of the iconic Stadium from their large book collection.

The ‘alternative’ Wembley Stadium can be viewed at the Friends of Barham Library Volunteer Library at 428 High Road Wembley on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays between 12 to 5pm. The Volunteer Library is close to Argos and Daniels Estate Agents and buses 18, 83, 92 and 182 stop right outside.

Special viewings and photographs can be arranged through Francis Henry of Daniels Estate Agents just a few doors down at 438 High Road Wembley.

“Besides lending and selling books our volunteers are also very creative providing a wide range of services to our diverse community. We have donated books to people in Africa and Asia, run English conversation classes and a arts & crafts club for youngsters at our Sudbury Town Underground premises. The Wembley Stadium was built by a team including a volunteer from Italy whose team are in the same World Cup group as England highlighting how everyone is rallying round to support our campaign to reopen Barham Library” says Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Paul Lorber one of Friends of Barham Library full time volunteers.

Friends of Barham Library run 2 Volunteer Libraries in Wembley and Sudbury Town and are campaigning to get back into the original Library in Barham Park which was closed by Labour Councillors in October 2011 and has now stood empty for 29 months.

During this time the building was broken into resulting in smashed glass in the front door and recently was flooded resulting in the closure of the Children Centre. The Labour run Council has been accused of neglect and of running down the Barham buildings to make it impossible for the library to be reopened.

New scanning software for friends of Barham Library

We have added 193 hardbacks so far, click on the picture and browse our books, more to follow

Friends of Barham Library say THANK YOU to Brent’s Planning Committee

Friends of Barham Library say THANK YOU to Brent’s Planning Committee


Friends of Barham Library expressed their thanks to Councillors on the Planning Committee for giving them and other community activists a fair hearing when considering a planning application which would have ended community use status for the currently closed Barham Library building and other parts of the Barham Park complex which were donated for ‘public’ use by local benefactor Titus Barham over 75 years ago.


The Library which served local people for almost 60 years was closed by Labour Councillors on 13 October 2011.


Speaking on behalf of continuing planning status as a community facility for the closed library building were Phil Grant from Wembley History Society, Alton Bell from youth & community organisation called Pivot Point who already and run a Youth Club in Sudbury and local Councillor and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Paul Lorber.


The only person who spoke in favour of the application was Labour Councillor Mary Daly as the other supporter of the proposal, Mr Andrew Gillick behind the controversial plans for Kensal Rise and Cricklewood Library buildings who was listed to speak did not bother to turn up.


Councillors at the planning committee were convinced by the impassioned case presented that the Sudbury Community needs continuing access to its most important local building and voted 6 votes to just 1 to REFUSE the application for change of use.


“We are grateful for the continuing support from the people of all nationalities & backgrounds living in the Sudbury area. We are now keen to build on the Planning Committee decision and make the case of bringing back into use the Barham buildings for the benefit of the whole community” says Liberal Democrat Councillor for Sudbury Paul Lorber who helps to run 2 volunteer libraries for Friends of Barham Library.


Friends of Barham Library will continue to operate their volunteer libraries at Sudbury Town Underground Station and at 428 High Road Wembley HA9 6AH (near Argos) and are urging for local people to visit and join in with their activities.


For more information about opening times email or visit their website on or join their facebook group and please join our library or your local library and read some books.



Torch Relay

Torch Relay

Brent and Kilburn Times story re: Torch Relay 

Link to brent planning

Link to brent planning


Campaigners to re-open Barham Park Library are demanding an explanation for why Labour-run Brent Council is ignoring its own decisions about the future of the library building. The library was closed by Labour Councillors two years ago and has lain empty ever since despite the willingness of the Friends of Barham Library charity to lease the old library premises. The charity has plans to re-open the library for the benefit of the local community.

Labour councillors sparked controversy in February 2013 when they blocked Friends of Barham Library’s bid for space in the library building. Instead they opted for a bid from ACAVA (Association for Cultural Advancement Through Visual Art) which offered a much smaller rent than council officers estimated was required and has no links to the local community.

As part of the deal ACAVA was due to bear the costs of any planning application required. However the council has instead submitted a planning application to itself at a cost of to taxpayers of over £2,300, plus the officer time spent drawing up the application. Whereas the bid from Friends of Barham Library did not need any planning permission, ACAVA’s plan for artists’ studios involves a loss of community space and requires permission for a change to offices / light industrial use.

Councillor Paul Lorber, who has worked closely with Friends of Barham Park Library and represents Sudbury ward where Barham Park is located, said:


“The old library building could have been up and running by now as an exciting new community hub and library, if Labour councillors had supported the Friends of Barham Library in February. Instead local people have endured another seven months of delay and uncertainty while the historic building deteriorates further.

“To add insult to injury Labour is now forcing local taxpayers to pay the cost of applying for planning permission to get rid of community space in their own building.”

Councillor Alison Hopkins, who chairs the councils budget and finance scrutiny committee, said:

“It seems very odd that the council is using taxpayers’ money to pay for a planning application which will benefit an external organisation with no local links, especially when AVACA bid on the basis that it would bear the cost of gaining planning permission. I think local people deserve a full explanation.”

Labour’s plan to close and dispose of half Brent’s libraries has been beset by problems and irregularities. These include the recent controversy over false expressions of support for the Kensal Rise library planning application and an internal audit investigation into the Barham Park bidding process which identified many failings. At the time councillors were assured that improvements would be made and lessons learned.

The planning application can be seen on the council’s website at At the time of writing the application had received nearly 20 objections and no expressions of support.


Note to editors

ACAVA and other organisations bid for the library building on the basis of the following conditions

  1. Applicants are responsible for obtaining all requisite consents, including planning permission.
  2. The assessment process will favour recreational uses.
  3. Internal repairing leases of up to 15 years can be offered with 5 yearly rent reviews.
  4. Trustees will be responsible for the external parts and costs will be recovered through a service charge.
  5. From acceptance of offer, applicants are expected to complete a lease in six weeks.
  6. A deposit equivalent to 3 months rent along with 3 months rent in advance is payable upon entering contract.
  7. We [Brent Council] are not obliged to accept the highest, or any proposal tender received, reserving the right to withdraw the property from letting at any time.

Conditions 1 and 5 have not been complied with. Furthermore renting out artists’ studios is not a “recreational use” (condition 2). The status of condition 6 (deposit) is unknown.

The full bidding document is available from the Liberal Democrat Group Office (020 8937 1181).

Liberal Democrat Group
Brent Council
020 8937 1133



Dear Friend
I am pleased to report that after some hard work by our volunteers our new premises at Sudbury Town Underground Station, Station Approach Sudbury (buses 245 and 204 stop right outside – and 18, 92 and 182 nearby) is almost ready.
We are stocking the shelves with books and experimenting with opening times.
We will initially open @ Sudbury Town 3 times per week as follows:
Tuesdays 10:30 to 1:30p.m
Thursday 10:30 to 1:30p.m.
Friday 10:30 to 1:30p.m.
As soon as we sign up and confirm new Volunteers we will expand these opening times.
Our original Volunteer Library near Argos & Daniels Estate Agents in Wembley High Road (buses 18, 83, 92 and 182 stop right outside) will continue to be open as follows:
Mondays 12 to 5p.m.
Wednesdays 12 to 5p.m.
Saturdays 11 to 5p.m.
This means that over the two branches we will be open for 25 hours per week on 6 days of the week.
We are taking part in the Festival and on Saturday 28 September we will have an Open Day at Sudbury Town Station starting from around 11a.m until around 4 p.m. we will have children story telling, poetry and readings and other activities. Please come and visit us in Sudbury Town. (there is a gift aid form on our website)
With various repairs, new fire extinguishers etc it will cost us over £500 to fully set up our Sudbury Town premises. This is why I am once again doing a fundraising run for Friends of Barham Library – a 5km run around Wembley Stadium on Sunday 6 October.
I am hoping to find 500 people to sponsor me for just £1 each. You can sponsor me on virginmoneygiving/ or directly by cheque. Please help by spreading the word. Thank You.
On 13 October it will be 2 years since Labour Councillors closed Barham Park and 5 other local libraries in Brent.
To celebrate our continuing campaign to get as many if these libraies as possible and to commemorate the closures Brent SOS will once again do a relay run between the closed libraries . This year it will take place on Saturday 12 October and include a run from Wembley High Road, to Sudbury Town Station, then to the closed Library in Barham Park ending at the closed Preston Library.
The Council has applied for planning permission to change the use of the closed Library from community use (D1) to office/light industrial (B1).
They need planning permission before they can let the building to an organisation who wish to create 29 artists studios. We asked them if they would share with us so that we could provide a community library but they refused claiming that library use was not compatible with their uses of the building.
We are opposing the planning application and urging all concerned residents to do the same. You can object on the internet by going to the Brent Council webiste, clicking on the box for planning and then searching for planning application 13/2179. We need as many objections as possible from local people so please make the effort.
As always THANK YOU for all your support. Please distribute this email to your friends and contacts interested in the library campaign.
All the best
Councillor Paul Lorber
for Friends of Barham Library
17 Stapenhill Road Wembley HA0 3JF
PS. You can keep in touch with what we are up to by becoming a ‘friend’ on facebook and by checking our website (although with everything else going on we are struggling to keep the website as up to date as it should be).