Liberal Democrats today slammed the decision of Labour-run Brent Council to close 6 of the borough’s libraries, saying it would have a massive effect on young people in the borough at a time when they would most need to use library facilities.
Labour Councillors were presented with clear evidence that over 50% of the active users of Barham, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise, Neasden, Preston and Tokyngton libraries are young people under the age of 19.
Whenever you visit any of these local community libraries you will find young children reading with their parents, browsing through books and using the educational programmes on the computers. The libraries are also full of youngsters researching for their school projects or revising for exams.
Liberal Democrat are concerned that thousands of young people across Brent will be hardest hit by the decision of Labour Councillors to close 6 Libraries across Brent, at a time when many will be studying for exams.
Speaking about the concerns, Cllr Paul Lorber, Leader of Brent Council’s Liberal Democrat Group, said:
“Labour councillors were shown, quite clearly, the effect closing 6 libraries would have on young people in Brent. They chose to ignore the evidence. Over 50% of the users of the 6 libraries now facing closure are under 19. Young people use the libraries to study and learn, taking this much needed facility away can only do harm to their education. Labour councillors should be ashamed.”
Appendix 6 of the Executive Report on libraries contains the table below. It shows that over half (5989) of all users of the 6 libraries (11874) are under 19 years old (p.110 – http://democracy.brent.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=4949).