The 8,000 people who saved Perivale library – and how Labour delivered on a Tory manifesto pledge

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I popped into the newly made over Perivale library at lunchtime today. It has just been refurbished and looks much the same only smarter and not subsiding in the corner. I think that is what people wanted.

The Conservatives on Ealing council fought hard, along with 8,000 residents who signed petitions, to ensure that this and other libraries weren’t closed in 2011 (the chop list was Hanwell, Perivale, Northfield, Northolt Leisure Centre and the mobile library). The mobile library service was shut down in the end.

The council’s officers don’t think that the smaller libraries in the borough offer good value for money. In the 2007 budget round they came for Hanwell. The Tories said no. In the 2008 budget round they came for Perivale. The Tories said no. They tried it again in 2010 with a new Labour administration. They said maybe and got themselves in big trouble. On the 14th July 2011, in the face of demonstrations on the Town Hall steps and petitions from 8,000 residents the Labour administration gave up with their consultation and removed the threat.

It is worth restating that when the Conservatives were in power five libraries were refurbished and modernised and a brand new library opened within the new Northolt Leisure Centre. In our 2010 manifesto we promised to:

Modernise Acton, Hanwell, Perivale and Southall libraries

That is all happening. Good news.

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