On Saturday, June 13, residents took the opportunity to peacefully protest outside Osidge Library (pictured). People had gathered at the location to voice their concerns to Councillor Lisa Rutter – whose surgery is held at the library – due to her recent voting actions on library closures and The Abbots Depot, both of which appear to be opposite to the interests of the constituents she claims to represent.

Although all the residents attended the picket line with a calm and respectful attitude, it didn’t stop two policemen, plus a further two officers in a back-up car, and the deputy leader of the council Cllr Daniel Thomas, being there to support CllrRutter in order to contain a possible breach of the peace. The police were alerted on Friday, June 12, and were clearly taking no chances. It certainly is an indication that the Conservatives appear to have greater concern for the welfare of their councillors than certain councillors have for the public’s health and safety. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic.

It’s interesting to note that, on the day Mayor of London Boris Johnson suggested a third runway at Heathrow Airport would be detrimental to the environment, increase air pollution and dent the quality of residents’ life, Barnet council insist on playing down the very same points in order to further its pursuit of The Abbots Depot, which, and let’s be honest about this, Mr Cornelius, will certainly not be “just a place to park council vehicles”.

I think it is incumbent on the council to finally come clean on the real impact a waste transfer and vehicle depot site would have on the community, and also the effect on the education of a society that, without proper funding to support its libraries, will see these centres of excellence end up on the scrap heap along with the tonnes of rubbish that, as Cllr Rutter has freely admitted, wouldn’t be something she’d like to live next to. And yet it was Lisa Rutter who voted for it to be located next to where her constituents live. Isn’t that hypocrisy of the highest order? You decide...

Written on behalf of RAAD & Osidge/East Barnet Library User Group and Save Barnet Libraries