A LEADING campaigner fighting to save libraries in Barnet says he and his group will be “watching the council like a hawk” to make sure they deliver on plans unveiled today.

Blogger Roger Tichborne, who launched the Save Barnet Libraries Campaign through his Barnet Eye blog, welcomed plans to keep 14 libraries in Barnet.

Councillor Robert Rams told the Times Series he is “100 per cent” committed to the library strategy, which would see cash from the sale of three buildings pumped back into the system.

During a lengthy public consultation a petition set up by Mr Tichborne gathered more than 3,000 signatures, although he says that number has doubled since it was presented to councillors in December.

To see a report on the review and what Cllr Robert Rams had to say about it click the links at the bottom of the story. Mr Tichborne said: “I’ve got no problem with any of that, it shows we’ve run a good campaign and have made our points well and stopped the worst from happening which has got to be a positive thing.

“They seem to have taken into account our views and I think the consultation delivered something the vast amount of people would be happy with.

“If they renege on it they will lose faith from a lot of people and we will restart the campaign. We will be watching them like a hawk.”

The review is in marked contrast to strategies followed by other authorities, including neighbouring Brent, which have triggered closures of a large number of libraries to balance budgets because of Government cutbacks.

Mill Hill resident Mr Tichborne claimed the reason Barnet had taken more time with its strategy is because of the concerted public support for libraries.

He said: “What we did was start a campaign from day one when they announced a review, whereas other boroughs weren’t as quick which meant they didn’t get public support fast enough.

“One of the things that strikes me about this report is it’s been done properly, unlike a lot of other One Barnet reports, which suggests they took the public mood seriously.

“What we have done is ensure we have something to build on in the future and I’m proud of that.”