The Save The Libraries roadshow rolled into High Barnet this morning. I was joined by a couple of willing volunteers from Unison as well as former Lib Dem Councillor Duncan MacDonald and his daughter. We set up shop outside the main entrance to the Spires (across the road from the Library). I asked Duncan how he was missing Barnet Council. His response was that he'd been too busy to notice. I think that irrespective of your party allegiance, people like Duncan are the sort of councillors you'd want. Rather like Labour Councillor Julie Johnson and Tory Kate Salinger, they are people who are in it for the good of the local community. Duncan is still involved in campaigns and residents groups and tells me he's pleased to have a bit more time to spend on their work.
As to the reception for the petition. As ever it was good. One thing we get asked time and again is whether Barnet Council really are planning to shut libraries and sell them off. People just can't believe it. When I explain about the library review and the property review and mention what Robert Rams told the Hendon Times, they are truly taken aback. The next question? "Is this Robert Rams a Tory". Rather strangley, when I say yes, they seem less surprised. They then normally say "Well they could find the cash to give themselves a payrise".
We now have 1,500 signatures (that's without the other stalls this morning). Another theme today was Sheltered Housing warden cuts. Word is getting out. Oh yes and we found our first supporter of Library closures. A young lad on a pushbike stopped and yelled "I hate libraries". I asked him if he was a friend of Robert Rams. "Who's he?" the boy replied. "He's the Conservative Politician who wants to make your dream come true" I said. "What do you mean" He replied. I told him "He's the bloke who wants to shut the libraries". At this, the boy sped off yelling "He sounds like a twat!".