Hendon MP Matthew Offord has come out in support of keeping Barnet’s libraries open.

A public consultation into £2.85m cuts to Barnet Borough Council’s libraries ended on Sunday, which laid out options to close libraries, make some smaller, or leave them unstaffed by using volunteers.

Mr Offord said he was concerned about the proposed closures, and was calling on the Conservative-led authority to keep the libraries open.

The Conservative MP said: “As someone to whom books mean a great deal, I share the concern of my constituents regarding possible reduction in libraries and library services. I have been liaising with the leader of Barnet Council for some time to see how the situation might be resolved.

“We need to ensure that the library service is relevant to people's lifestyles nowadays but I do not believe this needs to entail library closures and I have called on the council to keep all the libraries in my constituency open or to give a firm guarantee of a replacement.”

Mr Offord's announcement is similar to statements made in recent days by Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers and Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer

Opposition Labour councillors will call for plans to cut £2.85m from the library service to be stopped and for a second consultation on different options when the council meets next Tuesday.

Conservative councillor Reuben Thompstone, chairman of the children, education, libraries and safeguarding committee, said: “No savings are being made to libraries this year and no decisions on the future shape of the service will be taken until the feedback has been analysed and used to inform refined plans, which would then be fully discussed.

"We have always been clear that we are keen to hear alternative suggestions and the consultation was this opportunity.”