Buy back opens new chap­ter for li­brary

Coun­cil will be able to col­lect rent from ten­ant

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine

HILLING­DON Coun­cil has “bought back” the lease­hold of Yiewsley Li­brary in a deal which will save the bor­ough £30k a year.

The Tory-run coun­cil agreed to spend £675,000 to buy the lease­hold in­ter­est from financial ser­vices com­pany Le­gal and Gen­eral, who were sold it by a former Labour ad­min­is­tra­tion 40 years ago.

Hilling­don Coun­cil is cur­rently pay­ing £30,054.02 a year for the use of the li­brary but in fu­ture it will be able to col­lect a rent from the ten­ant which uses the up­per floor (cur­rently Trenic Gym).

Plan­ning com­mit­tee chair­man and Yiewsley coun­cil­lor, Ian Ed­wards called the pur­chase “fi­nan­cially, a wise thing to do”.

He added: “The rental and the cost of the in­vest­ment made it fi­nan­cially very vi­able, as well as open­ing up a tremen­dous po­ten­tial go­ing for­wards.

“De­pend­ing on what hap­pens with the gym, which we hope we can con­tinue for a long time, there are other op­por­tu­ni­ties for that site in time.”

Le­gal and Gen­eral put their lease­hold in­ter­est for sale in the Acui­tus Auc­tion on Oc­to­ber 22 with Hilling­don Coun­cil as the suc­cess­ful bid­ders.

Cllr Ed­wards as­sures that there are no plans to re­move the li­brary from the cur­rent lo­ca­tion on the cor­ner of Yiewsley High Street and Fall­ing Lane, but the area has a pos­i­tive fu­ture.

He said: “We’re look­ing for youth ser­vices down there for the coun­cil, now we have a new piece of real es­tate for us in our port­fo­lio so we can ad­just ser­vices to free up the right space for new ser­vices.

“We do need to look at fit­ness pro­vi­sion, as I know some res­i­dents have longed for the re­turn of the old swim­ming pool but that’s just not re­al­is­tic.

“It’s far too ex­pen­sive to build and main­tain for the use it would get when we have the won­der­ful fa­cil­i­ties at Uxbridge which is a bus ride away.

“Th­ese are all the sorts of things that my col­leagues and I are press­ing the Leader of the Coun­cil on and he’s very re­cep­tive to th­ese. He’s keen that where we can, we can move for­ward on them.”

Hilling­don is the only coun­cil in the coun­try to have suc­cess­fully re­fur­bished and re­built all of its 17 li­braries at a time when many county and bor­ough coun­cils are clos­ing lo­cal ser­vices.

Cllr Ed­wards added: “Whereas other coun­cil’s are cut­ting back on ex­pen­di­ture, we are very mind­ful on what we spend and how but be­cause of our sound financial man­age­ment we have got the abil­ity to in­vest in our com­mu­ni­ties when the op­por­tu­nity arises.”

Cllr Do­minic Gil­ham, ward coun­cil­lor for West Dray­ton and Tory can­di­date for Eal­ing & Hilling­don in next year’s Lon­don As­sem­bly elec­tions de­scribed the pur­chase as “fan­tas­tic”.

He said: “It just shows that even in tough times Hilling­don Coun­cil puts its res­i­dents first.”

n WELL READ: The li­brary was re­fur­bished pre­vi­ous to the sale

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.