Over 700 people have signed the Liberal Democrat Petition opposing the closures, one of the most controversial decisions the Labour Administration has made since coming to power in May 2010.
In February the Liberal Democrats revealed plans for their alternative budget proposals will made savings across the Council and allowed them to reverse the £408,000 cut to library funding proposed by the Labour Administration – meaning all 6 libraries under threat of closure could have been saved. Sadly however, Labour councillors voted against the proposal.
The Liberal Democrat want to see libraries funded next year, in order to give residents, community groups and the council more time to come up with alternative proposals for helping to keep libraries open into the future. Liberal Democrats believe that Brent Council hasn’t given people enough time to produce realistic business cases to save local libraries.
Speaking about the petition, Cllr Paul Lorber said,
“It’s clear from the number of residents who’ve signed the petition that they’re very angry and upset about Labour’s proposals to close libraries. The Liberal Democrats came up with costed proposals to save the libraries, but they were voted down by Labour Councillors.
Brent Council needs to concentrate on making savings on the £1 million plus of head office costs rather than on closing libraries. Libraries need to become more community based and not to have to pick up massive central overheads. Efficiencies and not closures should be the approach.
Although top Labour councillors are trying to assure everyone that no decisions have been made, it’s looking increasingly likely that Labour have made up their minds to close libraries. It’s just an outrage. Labour need to take a long hard look at how many people have signed this petition and others and reconsider their plans to close libraries.”