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A misguided strategy

posted 24 Apr 2012, 13:46 by Martin Russo   [ updated 24 Apr 2012, 13:52 ]
The Closure of Friern Barnet Libary

It was our communal centre, a place to learn, study, read, discover new worlds, fire up imaginations, find information and support, friends, find help with childcare, child minding support, providing many ideas and educational projects for many children, schools, families and local people. 

It served as a place of refuge away from the crowds and busy streets of our modern city life in London

We asked Barnet Council to keep it and our green communal space, our green village, open. This is our centre and we wanted to keep that way,  open. 

It served to feed the very hearts and minds of our lively, busy, strong, good natured and diverse community.

We are a diverse group of young and old, including young families, attracted to the area because of the close proximity of the library, its resources available and we had grown through many generations, to enjoy, learn and discover a sense of community. 

There was an increasing variety of job seekers, including the young, who have a great need to make use of the free internet, computer facilities, study and information provided by the library.

There are the elderly, a nearby sheltered housing centre and people with disabilities and mobility issues who welcome and enjoy its locality and services. 

The prospect of travelling to North Finchley for services, could prove very challenging. 

The Arts Depot is local to North Finchley but not to Friern Barnet. Public transport for some, can be costly, inconvenient and slow in our ever increasing world of heavy  traffic gridlocks

The relocation agreed to North Finchley could transform a relatively trouble free journey and change it into a more stressful and tiresome expedition to the library for some members of our community. 

It could potentially have a bigger impact on the most vulnerable members of our local community, particularly people with disabilities and mobility issues. 

The local residents expressed concern about its impact and trusted it would meet current legislation concerning Equality laws, with the subject and application of some form of Equality impact assessment being carried out on behalf of local residents but this resulted in no change of the vote to close it.

And we hoped we could keep it just the way we liked it, here in Friern Barnet. Local Barnet residents have enjoyed the warmth, support and benefits of the library and valued its friendly staff and amenities enjoyed in many peoples lifetimes.

People have made friends, many people, from all walks of life, from different generations and backgrounds, like you, enjoying the pleasure of being able to walk to Friern Barnet library. Barnet council did not listen to our concerns and voted through it's closure.