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Barnet Borough Council: Friern Barnet Library eviction adjournment 'disappointing'
A court’s decision to delay eviction proceedings on the squatters in Friern Barnet Library has been labelled “disappointing” by the borough council.
A district judge at Barnet County Court delayed the hearing this morning and listed a day-long trial for the case, in which he said there was a “clear public interest”.
The decision means the activists can stay in the Friern Barnet Road building until a decision is made at the hearing due to be held between December 17 and 21.
Barnet Borough Council applied to evict the group, which has occupied the building and reopened a community library there since they gained access in early September.
The squatters argue that the council has effectively granted them permission to be there by entering negotiations since the start of the occupation.
Following this morning’s decision, the council issued the following statement: “We have sought to keep an open dialogue with squatters through this process and we are disappointed that this discussion has been used to prevent the council assuming immediate control of a public asset.
"It is now unlikely that other councils will be as reasonable in their relation with squatters in any public building.
"This will mean we cannot have any further discussions about a community library until the court case is finished.”