NEAREST LIBRARIES TO HATCH END
Hatch End library closed on Saturday 13 June. The closest libraries for Hatch End residents are now: Pinner library at Marsh Road (0203 714 7718), Stanmore at 8 Stanmore Hill (0203 714 7728) or Gayton library at Garden House, 5 St John’s Road (0203 714 7731/7732) .
For more information, visit www.harrow.gov.uk/libraries.
Meeting 19 March 2015
At its meeting on 19 March, the Cabinet approved its own proposals to close four of the borough’s 10 library branches, as part of its four-year programme of cuts. The proposals were argued in a paper by the Corporate Director, which may have given some comfort to members backing closure by including some peculiar figures on library users and usage. The branches are Hatch End, North Harrow, Bob Lawrence and Rayners Lane. They will close on 15 May, subject to further consideration by the Corporate Director of proposals for community operation in respect of Bob Lawrence and North Harrow. There was no mention or discussion of the issue of the possible maintenance of the Hatch End branch while the proposed business plan for the Harrow Arts Centre was considered, which the HEA committee and others had argued for.
A study of the impact of the proposed closures on various groups, such as the disabled, the elderly, mothers with younger children, concluded that the Council may introduce mitigation by way of a three-month trial of mini buses to take users from closed branches to either Gayton or another branch nearer to the closing ones. A possible click-and-collect service is also to be considered. Initially this proposal – a perfectly everyday and free affair in the retail trade – was described as a new “premium” service which might attract a charge!
In connection with any retention of threatened branches on a community-run basis, this would require volunteers. Anyone interested in offering help is invited to obtain a specification and details of the application process by contacting Tim Bryan, Service Manager, Libraries Sport and Leisure on 020 8416 8639 or by emaiingl email@example.com. Applications must be received by 30 April 2015 at the latest.
Bernard Wainewright and Julian Maw attended a meeting with Harrow Council officers to discuss the Equality Impact Assessment (EqiA) for changes to the library service. The HEA comments were accepted by the officers and would be taken into account in the final EqiA.
The Report on the Consultation including the EqiA was anticipated to be presented to Cabinet in March.
It should be noted that while the Budget proposal presented to Cabinet on 19 February includes the savings for library closure this decision can be changed by Cabinet and the saving planned taken from Budget reserves.
As part of its budget cuts, Harrow Council is making changes to the library service. Proposed closures include Hatch End, North Harrow, Rayners Lane and Bob Lawrence libraries. Consultation sessions with the Council took place in November and December 2014 at various libraries and in Hatch End on 5 January 2015. This consultation process ended on 19 January. We will now have to wait for the Council’s final budget proposals to know what its intentions are. The long-term future of the four proposed closures are still up for discussion including making Hatch End library a pilot self-service library. The HEA will stay involved with the process and keep you informed of developments via the website.
Please see below PDF of the HEA response to the Council’s proposals to close four libraries in the borough including Hatch End.