Buy back opens new chapter for library
Council will be able to collect rent from tenant
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