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  • "A reading of the report submitted to the Cabinet members reveals just how uncertain the move to the Arts Depot is. Almost nothing has been agreed. Given the level of protest by users of Friern Barnet Library and indeed North Finchley users I would have expected a responsible council to have passed certain aspects of the report but to have rejected this portion until a much better solution for the communities had been worked out."
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Protesters to continue battle to save library

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

PROTESTERS are stepping up a campaign to stop Barnet Council from closing their much loved library.

Cabinet members approved plans to move Friern Barnet Library into the artsdepot, nearly two miles away in North Finchley last night.

But residents who have been desperately fighting the proposal were thrown a lifeline when it was announced they have until October 31 to come up with “community initiatives” to run their libraries more efficiently.

Kim Lee and Maureen Ivens set up Save Friern Barnet Library campaign and launched a petition which has been signed by more than 3,000 people who argue the closure would affect the most vulnerable people in the area as well as detriment hundreds of children’s literacy levels.

Mr Lee said: “Our campaign is not just going to dissolve away – we are going to come back stronger and will have to step it up a gear.”

Already getting the ball rolling, fellow campaigner Tamar Andrusier is asking anyone with expertise in law, finance, volunteering or running services which benefit the community, to come forward.

She said: “To close Friern Barnet library would be to tear the heart out of our community. We can’t let that happen.”

Ms Andrusier’s 10-year-old twins Hannah and Oscar have also been campaigning for the library they use every week after school.

Hannah said: “The council’s job is to make things better for us and that’s not what they’re doing. Children our age simply wouldn’t be able to go all the way to the artsdepot every day on our own.”

Speaking after last night’s Cabinet meeting Councillor Robert Rams, who has fronted the library consultation, said: “I look forward to having an honest and frank discussion with residents. What they can be looking for is alternative locations in Friern Barnet that could provide the service at a lot cheaper cost.”

However, remaining positive about a move to artsdepot, he added: “It could be one of the best and biggest libraries in the country that will be used by people throughout the borough. Plus it’s in the middles of a transport network.”

To offer advice to the Save Friern Barnet campaign, or for more information email: savefriernbarnetlibrary@hotmail.co.uk

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  • Name: Former Librarian
  • A reading of the report submitted to the Cabinet members reveals just how uncertain the move to the Arts Depot is. Almost nothing has been agreed. Given the level of protest by users of Friern Barnet Library and indeed North Finchley users I would have expected a responsible council to have passed certain aspects of the report but to have rejected this portion until a much better solution for the communities had been worked out.

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