Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Some more on libraries

Yesterday was a fast paced day, but here s some commentry on what it meant for the libraries services, which are in complete chaos.

First the news that the Artsdepot had been dropped as the site of the "landmark" library. The magical all singing all dancing landmark library.

Then comes Cllr Anne Hutton's response exposing the chaos in the libraries service. I am particularly glad she slayed the nonsense about people wanting to set up a community library in Friary House. Also, the idea of having a "landmark" library in the small North Finchley library makes it seem as if "landmark libraries" are not quite so magical.

Finally, we brought the debate round the full circle, and asked for Friern Barnet Library to be re-opened. It really is simple, that library ha overheads of £6,300. Piddling. Having a full time librarian, and a cafe with social space could easily help with the cost of running the building. There are plenty of other options as well.

And then Cllr Hutton showed how the Council had wasted invested £91,000 in the failed landmark library, far more than the costs of keeping FBL open.

I am seriously concerned about the state of the libraries service. I understand there is a large overspend, and I want to make sure it is covered without damaging the service in the long term. the £91,000 is a huge chunk of the overspend, and would be a pity is librarians had to pay for Rams' folly.