Residents storm council chamber after library vote chaos

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There were dramatic scenes at the Town Hall last night as residents and library campaigners stormed the council chamber after the Tory Mayor used his casting vote to stop the Tory library cuts, and then changed his vote on the pretext it was an "error".

To add insult to injury a Tory councillor was later seen reading a golfing magazine during the council meeting, and when asked about it said "Some people can multi-task."

Labour councillors had called an extraordinary meeting to try and stop the £2.85m library cuts and get the council to re-consult residents on fresh options for the library service, but an amendment from libraries boss Cllr Reuben Thompstone rejected Labour's motion and referred the matter to the Children, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding (CELS) Committee.

Labour councillors also called for a cross party committee to be set-up to take evidence from residents and library staff about what a 21st century library service should be in Barnet, but this motion was also voted down by the Tories.

The resident petition 'No to closure of Barnet libraries' which has more than 9,000 signatures was also referred to the CELS Committee. Footage of the Extraordinary Council meeting can be found here, courtesy of the Barnet Bugle.

We will provide an update as soon as we know when the petition and referral from the extraordinary council meeting will be discussed at CELS. 

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