Search

Hamptead Garden Suburb fight in their thousands for Market Place library

16:00 01 July 2011

Residents protesting protesting over HGS Library  closure . They have support of all residents  groups, the church, synagogue, and 2500 signatures (almost half the suburb!) 
Pic of Residents outside the library with Deborah Warland ( in forground)

Residents protesting protesting over HGS Library closure . They have support of all residents groups, the church, synagogue, and 2500 signatures (almost half the suburb!) Pic of Residents outside the library with Deborah Warland ( in forground)

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Half of Hampstead Garden Suburb has thrown its weight behind a battle to save their beloved local library from the axe.

In just two months more than 2,500 people have signed a petition – a number which represents almost half of the 6,500 Suburb households – to save the 80 square foot library earmarked by Barnet Council for closure.

Deborah Warman, who is leading the SOS: Save Our Suburb Library campaign, describes the 60-year-old library as the “lynchpin” of Market Place and the suburb community as a whole.

She said: “One amazing thing about this library is that elderly people and mums with prams walk there, and on the way they stop into shops. We have become such a driving culture that this is a really rare thing. I have always been a huge reader and I like going into the library. The librarians give me tips now because they have got to know my taste – I meet up with other people there to exchange notes on books and swap recommendations. It’s hugely social.”

But Barnet has said that each person’s visit to the library costs the council £6.77 and it must close.

Neville Silver, 79, who has lived just 100 metres from the library for 50 years, has been crunching the numbers and disagrees. He argues that the library could cost Barnet just £50,000 a year to keep open – a drop in the ocean compared to the £1.4million they plan to save on libraries across the board.

The SOS campaign argues that the council has placed completely disproportionate management and stock costs on the tiny library.

Mr Silver added that £10,250 will still have to be paid annually as the council is tied into a lease until 2021.

Currently £67,000 is paid for two members of staff but SOS has offered to fill one of the spots with a rotating group of keen volunteers.

Mr Neville said: “The saddest thing is we can’t seem to get support from our own councillors – we get the feeling that they are more willing to toe the party line rather than support the views of their residents.

“It seems the Suburb library doesn’t fit in with Barnet’s grandiose idea of big libraries with huge facilities.”

Councillor Robert Rams, customer access and partnerships boss, said: “Our extensive library consultation is now closed and we’ll be considering all comments and petitions before making our final proposal to cabinet on July 26.”5

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:23

The enthusiastic team of amateur singers will make their debut in the charts with a cover of a Grammy award-winning classic melody

Yesterday, 14:21

Senior Haringey councillors have come under fire over revelations that they have been wining and dining with a top property PR firm.

Yesterday, 05:00

A shopkeeper has defended his novelty gift shop after it has been boycotted by shoppers who branded it ‘pro-Brexit’ and ‘racist’

Wed, 18:44

We have created this moving tribute video of the heartwarming day a community came together and marched to free West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe from jail in Iran.

As plans to demolish a well-loved Highgate community centre are put forward, neighbours are making their opinions clear to council planners

Wed, 17:32

Michelle Collins was joined by volunteers from the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) as she hung the first heart on the Wishing Tree at Lauderdale House launching the AWTF’s Big Christmas Drive.

Tue, 19:23

A former London Metropolitan University lecturer is looking to inspire the next generation of architects with a series of early years workshops in Islington.

Tue, 17:05

Starting university is something new, big and exciting, whether you are moving to a new city or another country.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now