March planned to protest threat to Barnet libraries

March planned to protest threat to Barnet libraries

Campaigners will take to the streets of Barnet next week to protest Barnet Council’s proposed £2.85m worth of cuts to the library service, the Times Series has reported.

The 'Children's March for Libraries' will see BAFTA award-winning actress Rebecca Front joining those campaigning. She said: “It’s a pretty obvious equation to me. Children reading books is a good thing. Children being denied free access to books is therefore a bad thing and needs to be stopped in Barnet or wherever it’s happening.”

On Saturday 12th September campaigners will start at East Finchley Library at 10.15am, before heading to Church End Library, where they will be joined by a brass band. They will end the march at North Finchley Library.

The march comes ahead of a meeting on 21st September at Hendon Town Hall, where councillors will discuss proposals that may see libraries downsized, axed or run by volunteers.

Over the next five years, the authorities faces an overall budget gap of £98.4m, with the Children, Education, Libaries and Safeguarding Committee (CELS), expected to make cuts of £17.9m, which includes the £2.85m library cuts.

Chairman of CELS, councillor Reuben Thompstone, said: “Listening to what our residents are saying, we are exploring ways to keep the same number of libraries across the borough, whilst reducing the overall cost of the service.

“To do this the library service will need to change and adapt, meaning it could end up looking significantly different from how it is today.”