THE chairman of a residents’ association says it is “not a surprise” Barnet Council has plans to shut their local library.

Yesterday it was revealed the facility in Market Place, Hampstead Garden Suburb, is the only one in Barnet set to shut completely following a review of the library service in the borough.

Council officers sited the cost-per-book borrowed, at over £6 the second most in Barnet, and the fact the council does not own the building as reasons to shut it.

Janet Elliott, chairman of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association, said: “It may not be welcome but it’s not a surprise.

“I have heard before it is one of the most expensive to run in the borough, and we did write to the council during the consultation to ask them not to close any of the libraries.

“I have already heard from a group of people who say they are interested in campaigning to keep it open and I see no reason why the association cannot support them. I think it would have popular support, the library is important to the people here.”

Councillor Robert Rams, who is in charge of the review, told the Times Series the council is in talks with The Institute in East Finchley to take the stock from the library and put in a self-service machine for residents.

He added there could be a trial of a paid-for delivery service for people to order books in the Suburb.

Ms Elliott said: “As I understand it talks with The Institute are not that advanced and they do not have the capacity to take the stock.

“It would be interesting to see what comes forward in terms of a trial for delivery, presumably it would be something for the whole community. We do have a n ageing population here so it could be a good thing.”

A new round of consultation on the plans starts on April 4 and will last for ten weeks.