A petition objecting to Ealing Library services being outsourced to another private company following Carillion's collapse has gathered more than 2,300 signatures.
Ealing, along with Harrow, Hounslow and Croydon, outsourced its library services in September 2013 to contractor John Laing Integrated Services, which later sold the contract to Carillion.
As a result, the libraries were managed under the umbrella of “Cultural Community Services”, up until the construction giant went into compulsory liquidation on January 15.
Following the company's collapse, a petition has been set up which hopes to prevent Ealing library's service “remaining outsourced by Carillion or any other private company”.
The petition, which had gathered more than 2,300 signatures by Friday morning (January 26), added: “We petition Ealing Council to intervene to terminate its contract with Carillion.
“Bring all of Ealing's 13 libraries back under council control to safeguard its future library provision and guarantee the jobs of library staff.”
Since Carillion's collapse, Croydon Council announced on January 16 that, rather than outsource its libraries to another firm, it has severed its contract with the construction firm.
However, the petition organisers claim Ealing and Harrow councils have not yet terminated their contracts with Carillion, something Hounslow Council did in July 2017.
After the firm's liquidation, a spokesman for Ealing Council said they had sorted out “robust contingency plans” and was seeking “urgent discussion” with Carillion.
“Ealing's libraries continue to operate as normal,” the spokesman said on January 15.
“We will work closely with the official receiver and any potential new contractors in order to secure the most efficient and high-quality library services in the future.”
The petition, which has exceeded the 1,500-signature threshold for a council debate, said that library staff job loses would have “irreparable damage to librarian families and the local economy”.
It continued: “Library closures would also place various communities at risk by denying children, young people and youth groups the opportunity to access books.
“[It would] isolate vulnerable groups such as the elderly and disabled who would otherwise make use of the library.”
Professor Benjamin Zephaniah endorsed the campaign to save Ealing libraries and said they have “turned lives around and saved lives”.
He added: "Ealing Library is not just another business on the high street, it is a sanctuary, a safe place, and a place of learning.
“It should never be left to companies who are motivated by financial profit. The jobs of the people who work at this library must be protected, the people who have dedicated so much of their lives to this place must be respected.
“I have always received a wonderful welcome when I visit this library, and I know how much it means to the community. Save it, and you’ll save us."
A spokesman for Ealing Council responded: “The council is working closely with the official receiver and considering options currently available, of which one is to bring the library service in house.”
To sign the petition, click here .
Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.
You can set up your app to see all the latest news and events from your area, plus receive push notifications for breaking news.