Barnet Tories' "library decimation plan" referred to Full Council

Labour councillors on last night's Children, Education, Libraries & Safeguarding Committee (CELS) fiercely challenged the Barnet Tories' latest proposals to cut up to £2.85m from the Library Service in a bid to try and stop the plans. Barnet Tory councillors voted the plans through in the face of Labour opposition, but they were referred up to the Full Council meeting on October 20th.

The council’s proposals would result in:

· Library staff cut by 46% - with the slack to be picked up by volunteers

· Staffing hours cut by 70% - with many Libraries left completely unstaffed at times

· Library floor space shrunk by up to 88%

· Childs Hill, Mill Hill, East Barnet & South Friern Libraries to be run by volunteers as "partnership libraries"

Labour’s Libraries Spokesperson, Cllr Anne Hutton said: "We were shocked to see the scale of the staff cuts in this latest library decimation plan.

“The Barnet Tories have learned next to nothing from the 4,000 consultation responses, or from the strength of feeling that local people have for the Library Service.

“The Library Service is likely to deteriorate as a result of the Tories' complete failure to take on their own government and oppose the savage cuts they are imposing on local councils.

“The proposals are an act of outright cultural vandalism that will affect our community, especially young people, for generations to come as libraries wither on the vine and die.”

Ends.
Notes:

1. A copy of the CELS report on the Library Service can be found here:

http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=697&MId=8512&Ver=4

2. For more from the Barnet Labour Group on Libraries see:

http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/saveourlibraryservice

http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/shrinking_libraries_where_s_the_council_s_business_plan 

For more information contact:
Cllr Anne Hutton: cllr.a.hutton@barnet.gov.uk
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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