Sunday, 30 November 2014

What Barnet Tories said about Libraries in their manifesto just 6 months ago

With the massive cuts to Barnet's library services I thought it would be interesting to see what they said just before the election earlier this year. Take a look for yourself here but this is what they said about Libraries in their manifesto:

Barnet’s Libraries are in good shape.
We have:

  • Kept Barnet’s libraries open – neighbouring Brent closed half theirs.
  • Established two community libraries.
  • Provided all libraries with free wifi.
  • Installed RFID technology e.g. self-service kiosks in many of our libraries

We will:

  • Pledge not to sell the Friern Barnet library building.
  • Deliver improvements to library buildings where required and have new buildings planned e.g. Finchley Church End library.
  • Examine the potential for libraries to expand their offer and become community spaces.
  • Look at community involvement and assist local people to actively support their libraries.

Yet six month on they are planning to decimate the libraries. Where was that in their manifesto? Just like the second phase of outsourcing they are planning, it was silent on the subject. They said that out libraries are in good shape - so why do they want to turn them into large living rooms just 20 ft by 27 ft?

It just shows that you should never believe anything a politician tells you. I was at the East Barnet Library consultation on Friday and the level of mistrust in the Council was off the scale. No one believes a word the Council says any more.


  1. a smaller version of this government

  2. What I find galling is that we are in the midst of a public consultation about libraries and yet the direction of travel has not been fully resolved. Outsourcing would appear to be the preferred option for the council so why doesn't that form the central plank of the consultation. No wonder mistrust is off the scale. They present options yet clearly the decisions have already been made.

  3. As one Tory councillor once said, "No one reads books any more so who needs a library?" Then they closed down Totteridge library on the pretext it did not meet the Disability Discrimination Act for Buildings. As someone mentioned, you can never believe anything a politician says.