Tory plan will slash libraries' floor space by 93%

Labour councillors have calculated that the floor space at 10 libraries will be slashed by up to 93 per cent under the Conservative's plan to cut the libraries' budget by 60 per cent.

The Tory's preferred Option 1 in the Libraries Strategy would keep all libraries open but with massively reduced space. Many to just 540 square feet - the size of a large living room.

Each of these libraries would see the following reductions in floor space under the plan:

  • Burnt Oak: 8137.7 square feet to 540 square feet - 93.36% reduction
  • Child's Hill: 3875 square feet to 540 square feet - 86.06% reduction
  • East Barnet: 5834 square feet to 540 square feet - 90.74% reduction
  • East Finchley: 5112.9 square feet to 540 square feet - 89.44% reduction
  • Edgware: 5748 square feet to 540 square feet - 90.61% reduction
  • Golders Green: 5069 square feet to 540 square feet - 89.35% reduction
  • Mill Hill: 5597 square feet to 540 square feet - 90.35% reduction
  • North Finchley: 5447 square feet to 540 square feet - 90.09% reduction
  • Osidge: 4445.5 square feet to 540 square feet - 87.85% reduction
  • South Friern: 4445.5 square feet to 540 square feet - 87.85% reduction

All the options in the Tory plan would mean massive staff cuts to leave our libraries unattended 50% of the time.

Labour councillors are campaigning against the Tories' plan to cut the libraries' budget by 60% and referred it up to Full Council at the Children's, Education, Libraries & Safeguarding Committee last night.

Labour's Libraries Spokesperson, Cllr Anne Hutton said: "The Tories' library strategy is not a strategy at all - it is just closing libraries to open shopfronts.

"Cutting library floor space so that most of our libraries are no bigger than the size of a living room and slashing library staff to leave them unattended half of the time is not maintaining a library service at all - it is the first step in mass library closures, and we will not support it.

"The Tories should withdraw their proposals now."

Notes:

1. To sign Labour's petition to save our libraries see: http://betterbarnet.nationbuilder.com/saveourlibraryservice

2. Details of last night's CELS Committee with the Libraries Strategy report:
http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=697&MId=8016&Ver=4

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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