The truth about the Barnet Tories and libraries

In response to recent comments about libraries by the Conservative MP for Finchley & Golders Green which were published on the Barnet Bugle, Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Alison Moore said:

"The facts are that the Conservatives have closed 4 public libraries* in Barnet when they’ve been in control of the council, including two when Mike Freer was a Conservative councillor. Conservative plans to cut Barnet's 16 public libraries down to just 7 were leaked in 2005.  

“The facts are that not one library closed when Labour ran Barnet Council. No libraries were closed when Labour managed the council from 1994 to 2001, as a minority administration, despite Mr Freer’s desperate accusations. 

“Now the Conservatives  are supporting cuts to libraries which could close six of our remaining 14 libraries, cut staffed opening hours  and drastically reduce space at libraries which stay open.

“Mr Freer has ducked and dived long enough. His constituents want a straight answer – does Mr Freer support Labour’s proposal for all three of the Council’s unacceptable library options to be rejected at the Council meeting on Tuesday? Yes or no? And does Mr Freer agree that the Council must go back to the drawing board and develop a new, better plan, this time fully involving residents and library users?”

*libraries closed by Barnet Conservatives:   Totteridge (2006/7), Hampstead Garden Suburb (2011 - reopened after a campaign as a community library), Friern Barnet (2012 - run as a community library after an occupation and court case), South Friern (2006/7 - closed, demolished and only re-built after a long campaign by residents and Labour Cllr Barry Rawlings).

To contact Cllr Moore:

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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