An update from the Friends of Chiswick Library

As one of our members, talking about Chiswick Library, said: "Nobody really knows. It s all up in the air." And that just about sums it up.

Ever since we read the Leader of the Council's answer to the question, in Chatt Session, about whether or not the council is proceeding with plans for the New Library: "No, the Council will not be proceeding with the current plans for Chiswick Library.. .The proposals have to be taken back to the drawing board..." we have heard rumours about what might be happening which we have not been able to substantiate.

A letter, dated 24 June, from Chiswick Riverside Councillor Paul Lynch (addressed to the Chief Executive, Head of Street Management and Public Protection, the Chair of the Sustainable Development Committee and to the Lead Member for Development and Regeneration with copies to various people including ourselves) states that "two separate groups have approached me with interesting counterproposals..." Cllr Lynch promises that a meeting will take place early in September to consider these proposals.

The Friends have written to him twice in order to find out more about these proposals and who is responsible for them. So far we have not received a reply. We need to study the proposals before they are put before a meeting in order to respond adequately. What is the mystery all about?

The public were excluded from that part of the recent Chiswick Area Committee meeting when the report of the Council legal department on the Restrictive Covenants associated with the gift of the building to the public was made. We have heard through the grapevine that it was claimed that they would not be an obstacle to the proposed redevelopment. We are investigating this further ourselves.

The report of Hillier Parker, the independent valuers of the proposed scheme, that was promised earlier this year has, so far as we know, yet to be presented. We and the public at large will be most interested to learn what they think about whether or not the Council is getting good value.

Members and readers will also be interested to know that English Heritage take a very dim view of the scheme, especially of its plan to relegate the public library to the ill-lit, airless basement.

Peter Hammond

Friends of Chiswick Library

August 12, 2002


The Friends response to Chiswick Library Development Plan

Details of Public Meeting and discussion of plans