Campaigners say councillors are “sticking two fingers up to democracy” as they voted in favour of cuts to library services.

Proposals looking to save £2.27 million were approved as Barnet Council voted 31-27 in favour of the plans during a full council meeting at Hendon Town Hall on Monday.

Protesters were left feeling devastated after showing their support for the libraries as they gathered outside Hendon town hall beforehand chanting “Our libraries. Our Librarians. Not for sale”.

Barbara Jacobson, who is part of Save Barnet libraries group, has previously asked committee members where they would find 100 volunteers needed for the library if the cuts are approved.

Following the decision, Mrs Jacobson said: “The predictable vote from a group who pretend that they are representing their constituents, but in reality, are sticking two fingers up to democracy.”

Labour councillor Anne Hutton, for the Woodhouse ward, addressed the council and called for the proposals to be shelved once again, as she said many issues were yet to be resolved.

She said: “All the problems around the IT have still not been resolved, despite our being assured last week that they had been.

“Young people are the future of this borough, whatever proposals are agreed we cannot restrict their right to freely use the library services.”

Lone Liberal Democrat Cllr Jack Cohen, as well as Labour councillors Alison Moore and Kath McGuirk, also showed their support for the library services and suggesting waiting until certain issues were resolved. 

However, Cllr Hutton’s amendment was rejected by councillors.

Conservative councillor Reuben Thompstone, for Golders Green ward, spoke in favour of the cuts and said that despite the changes, in 2014 there were 14 libraries when consultations began and there would still be 14 libraries in 2016.

Cllr Thomsptone said: “Three main changes include live CCTV cameras in the libraries, the age limit has lowered to 15 including Year 11 students and people and children who are under age will have access to online and digital library services.”