A Government front-bencher has given his support to two libraries earmarked for closure in Harrow by visiting them.
Minister for culture, media and sport Sajid Javid visited North Harrow and Bob Lawrence libraries today along with Conservative Harrow West parliamentary candidate Hannah David.

Harrow Councils Labour administration announced last month a public consultation on the future of the two libraries , and Hatch End and Rayners Lane libraries, as part of its drive to reduce costs.
However, the organiser of a petition to keep North Harrow Library open said the visit was a publicity stunt and blamed central government for forcing the cuts onto Harrow.
Kamal Shah, , the chairman of North Harrow Community Partnership, said the council found itself in an “impossible” situation after being told to find £75 million cuts.
Mr Javid said councils such as Harrow should look at alternative ways to make cuts which did not affect Library and other front-line services.

Culture minister Sajid Javid with, right, Marianne Locke, Harrow Council's divisional director for community and culture, and, left, Conservative Harrow West prospective parliamentary candidate Hannah David
Culture minister Sajid Javid with, right, Marianne Locke, Harrow Council's divisional director for community and culture, and, left, Conservative Harrow West prospective parliamentary candidate Hannah David

During his visit to North Harrow Mr Javid was shown around North Harrow Library in Pinner Road, North Harrow, by its team leader Mala Shah and Marianne Locke, the council's divisional director for community and culture.
He was confronted by Mr Shah, who told the MP that the threat of closure was a result of the government's austerity measures.

He said: “It is impossible to have such large cuts without having front-line cuts.”
But Mr Javid told the campaigner it was possible to make saving without front-line services being affected.
Afterwards Mr Javid told getwestlondon: “From a government point of view libraries are hugely important, not just the obvious things like books and reading material, they're also a community hub.

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"We want to make sure the library service remains for people here.”
He dismissed those who said the government was responsible for the possible closure, citing the examples of other administrations in the country that have dealt with cuts without making front-line service cuts.

He said: “I still prefer to redesign services where necessary to make sure savings are found by cutting away the fat, looking at ways of doing other things such as sharing services – other authorities have done that successfully and there's no reason why Harrow can't do that.
“The priorities should be non front-line cuts. If other councils do that then Harrow can do that.”
Earlier, Mr Shah warned that closure of the library could serve a fatal blow to North Harrow.

Speaking at the library, he said: “This is a political stunt. Harrow get a cut of £75m – how do they expect to make savings without front-line cuts? It's impossible.
“We have exceptional circumstances in North Harrow because the library is the only thing we have here.

"Without it we will go down completely.”