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POLITICS: Tories v Libraries - the Conservatives are tearing up

This Vimeo link  shows a staff member at the offices of Matthew Offord, MP for Hendon, tearing up a leaflet posted through the office letterbox, as part of the Save Barnet Libraries protest.

Although Offord himself may not be directly to blame here, the mentality of his staff is perfectly plain. A cross-party collective of people, young and old, standing outside the office, crying out to have their local libraries saved, are treated with utter contempt.

The Borough of Barnet has set up a much-debated 'consultation' on the future of its libraries, asking absurd and barely comprehensible questions which few residents and library users have been able to answer, with the clear agenda of cutting services to the bare bones. Closures and drastic reductions of staff numbers and roles are the obvious endgame to this nonsultative rigmarole.

Anyone who, like me, regularly visits the local library knows that early years education and the elderly will be first hit if library service is cut further. Counselling for domestic abuse, baby signing, spotting deafness in toddlers and simply a warm place for older residents to take shelter: these are but a few of the vital lifelines to community cohesion provided by Chipping Barnet Library.

Will we really save money if fewer children are literate and more vulnerable and elderly people a lacking a place were they can calmly read?

No enlightened government would sanction this. No party political staff would shamelessly tear up a flier from peaceful residents asking to keep open a place of education.

It is high time to vote out the Tories. For Barnet's sake, at the very least.


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