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

Monday, 17 December 2012

Friern Barnet Library

Tomorrow is decision day for the community project in Friern Barnet Library.

They can be hugely proud of the work they have done, doubling the footfall, opening up new services, getting the library re stocked with 10,000 books and bringing the whole community together.

At court today they were well served by Reema Patel and their barrister, Sarah Sackman. There was good evidence given by Keith Martin (a very courageous man indeed) Fiona Brickwood (whowiped the floor with the prosecutor) and Pete Phoenix, who's talents have gotten us further than we might ever have thought.

It's funny to look back. The library was closed on April 5th, just 6 days before my election. I recall going to the Business management meeting where they voted to keep it open a while longer, and going to Cabinet where they finally decided to close it.I attended these meetings in a sense of bewilderment. It was not my ward and I was not yet a Councillor, but I felt it would be important to support Pauline Coakley-Webb and Barry Rawlings.

I think everyone on the campaign  will look back with pride at the unity that was achieved, and the comradeship and spirit that those involved have acted in. Whatever is said tomorrow, it will still be a community library in the new year, and I hope the Council see sense and have a real negotiation and dialogue with the groups. That was the only way this was ever going to be resolved.