Campaign to stop Barnet library closures raised in Parliament

Lyn Brown MP

Lyn Brown MP - Credit: Archant

The threat of closure hanging over six Barnet libraries - including Childs Hill and East Finchley - has been raised in Parliament.

In a debate last Wednesday, Labour’s shadow minister for communities and local government Lyn Brown wished library campaigners well.

She said: “Our local authorities were once the mainstay of cultural funding. Today, they are underfunded and reduced. They are struggling. Even the local authorities with the best practice are being forced into taking previously unthinkable action.”

She continued: “Indeed, one Tory council, Barnet - which had beacon status for its libraries - is now consulting on service reductions.”

Sarah Sackman, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Finchley and Golders Green, said after the debate: “The risk to our libraries is attracting national attention because the closure options are thought to be amongst the worst library cuts in the country.”

The council is proposing to cut staff hours by half, or close six libraries, or hand four branches over to the community.

Cllr Richard Cornelius, council leader, said: “We hope not to have to close any libraries.”