No New Ealing Central Library Until 2019
Relocation project begins next month with stock of books to fall by 70%
Plans to shut the current Ealing Central Library site, relocate and downsize it have been condemned by opposition councillors.
The project begins next month and will mean the library moving to another space within Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and scheduled to open in Spring 2019.
Until that point a 'pop-up' library point will open at the current site for collecting book reservations and returning items.
The old library site in the shopping centre will be taken over by what's being described as 'a high quality retailer' - but there has been no announcement as to who that will be.
The council say that when completed, the new library will offer greater access to digital and self-service facilities, accommodate roughly 40,000 books and provide a range of study areas. It will be designed to enable the space to be used flexibly in a variety of ways, including for events, activities and adult learning classes.
However Cllr Greg Stafford, Opposition Leader said, “Under Labour’s plans, the book stock in the new library will be reduced from 124,000 to 35,000 a 71% reduction. Valuable designated study places will be reduced from 155 to 65; a 58% reduction.
''The existing libraries cannot provide any more study spaces and why should our students have to be trekking across the borough looking for a space to study?
''It doesn’t take a degree to see that only person benefitting from this deal is the developer who is getting a larger commercial area to rent to for profit, in exchange for providing a smaller space, not fit for retail purposes.
''Only Labour would consider a significantly smaller cramped space, with a fraction of the resources, a 'first-class' library. Anyone who wants to see an example of a first-class library, should look in neighbouring Conservative-run Hillingdon.”
July 4 2018