1:31pm Wednesday 9th November 2011
By David Hardiman
NO libraries in the borough will close, despite huge budget cuts, the councillor in charge of them has pledged.
Councillor Bambos Charalambous, cabinet member for culture, replied to a question posed at last Wednesday’s Enfield Council meeting, saying there would be no closures despite 20 per cent cuts to the service this year.
More than 1,500 people responded to a consultation conducted in September on the future of the borough’s libraries.
Cllr Charalambous said: “We would like to see libraries better equipped and providing a 21st Century service for all.
“It is therefore my intention to propose that — unlike many other London boroughs — we retain all our libraries and there will be no library closures.”
Users of Enfield Town Library, in Church Street — which reopened in March last year after an 18-month refurbishment — were glad to hear no buildings would close.
Lynn Richardson, 72, said: “I know most people think it’s old fashioned, but I still like coming and getting a book to read each week.”
Sixth-form student Megan Culver said: “Loads of us come in after school and chat and people do their homework there as well.”
Speculation began in March that Ordnance Road, Bullsmoor and Enfield Highway libraries had been earmarked for closure after the Labour-run council’s finance chief, Councillor Andrew Stafford, said the council needed to look at “value for money”.
Enfield North MP Nick de Bois handed in a petition signed by more than 400 people to Enfield Council over the summer, as part of his Hands Off Our Libraries campaign.
A cut of £1.5 million to the libraries budget has been pencilled in over the next four years. Cllr Charalambous said that could be absorbed by making better use of the libraries or by passing the cuts on to other areas of the budget.
Redundancy warnings were handed to 17 members of staff in July. A full review of the consultation is due in December.
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