Vaizey to review Harrow library closures

Vaizey to review Harrow library closures

Libraries minister Ed Vaizey will review the decision to close four libraries in Harrow, after being challenged on the subject in the Houses of Parliament.

Vaizey has said he would review the council's plans, "as I do with every authority that seeks to close libraries".

During a debate in the House of Commons on 4th June, the Conservative MP for Harrow East Bob Blackman said: "Harrow Council intends to close four libraries on 13th June despite community bids to run them as community libraries. What action can my honourable friend take to intervene to ensure that Harrow Council fulfils its statutory duties?"

Vaizey responded: "I visited one of the libraries under threat with my honourable friend. I know that when he was the leader of Brent Council he fought very hard to keep libraries open. They were subsequently closed by the Labour administration. I will review the council’s plans to close its libraries, as I do with every authority that seeks to close libraries."

The minister visited Harrow in January, stopping in at facilities such as the Harrow Arts Centre, which was put under threat of closure as the council looked to make savings. Vaizey told the Harrow Times its closure would leave "a hole in the heart of the community". After petitions from the community, the council agreed a plan to protect the building.

Harrow will build a new library in the town centre, and refurbish several other libraries around the borough, while closing four of its 10 branches.