Thursday, 3 December 2009

Shepherd's Bush Library: spanner in the works

The new library at Westfield has had rave reviews, and is apparently running out of books it has been so popular. The building is indeed very impressive but I have to qualify the rave reviews bit by saying I read that in the propaganda-dressed-as-news so it might not be quite right.

I wrote a long time ago about what this might mean for the historic Passmore-Edwards building just north of the Green and one of you wrote back to me about this to point out that this building has to be used as a library under a 'covenant' that remains in force to this day.

Several more readers, who currently work at the Council, have also pointed out that this is more than a simple problem about a building however. What it means is that part of the Council's plans - to sell the building to developers as we know they like to do - cannot go ahead. Further, what this means is that they have not therefore made the budget savings they were hoping for with the new library - this will probably mean yet more staff cuts. Its hard to see where they could make any more cuts in the library staff they have left after the last round of cuts - so council staff are asking where the axe is going to fall.

According to propaganda-dressed-as-news the story of the new library is of a brand spanking new service at no cost to taxpayers. The reality however seems to be all of that - but also budget savings not having been made because of a slip up over the old building, staff morale at rock bottom (they were actually all asked to sign new less favourable contracts by the 30th September this year or be dismissed!) and the likelihood of further redundancies.

And you wonder why I think the lack of an independent local media, to show us the true picture of what our Council is doing instead of a one sided propaganda sheet, is a problem?


  1. This probably ties in with HFCONWATCH's stories around 'the release of Westfield from its obligation to fund 100 affordable homes for key workers in Shepherds Bush'.

  2. I suspected the new library would be bad but I bit my tongue and thought I would give this modernization a try. however it is shockingly bad. The auto scanners don't work most of the time, ask someone to help the reply is use the auto scanner, point out the scanner is not working, err where is the manager. The remaining staff are really not enough and poorly trained. The quality and quantity of litriture has really been dumbed down. Its like they have treated the Library as a boutique shop. In my mind Shepherds Bush has now no Library left