Four libraries have been earmarked for closure and the remaining libraries would be closed two days a week with reduced hours at other times as part of a cost-cutting proposal.

Harrow Council's Labour administration has launched a consultation on the future of the library service that includes a proposal to shut a quartet of branches:

● Bob Lawrence Library in North Parade, Mollison Way in Edgware;

● North Harrow Library in Pinner Road, North Harrow;

● Hatch End Library inside Harrow Arts Centre in Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, and

Rayners Lane Library in Imperial Drive, South Harrow

What do you think? E-mail ian.proctor@trinitymirror.com

"We have taken into account the current performance of all the libraries and ease of access to other services when putting forwards these proposals," the consultation booklet says.

"These are amongst the least well performing libraries in terms of the number of visits and stock issues compared to other Harrow libraries."

The authority says only one in five citizens are library card holders and both the total number of visits, and the number of books and DVD issued, are in year-on-year decline.

"Savings of approximately £250,000 could be made through reducing library staffed opening hours at all libraries, apart from Gayton Library, to 22.5 hours per week."

Every library apart from the flagship Gayton Library, in St John's Road, Harrow, is already shut on Wednesdays and Sundays but the proposal would mean visitors lose seven hours' access to the remaining branch libraries on Tuesday mornings and opening and closing times would be brought half an hour forward on Mondays.

For the axe?: North Harrow Library in Pinner Road, North Harrow, is one of four libraries under threat
For the axe?: North Harrow Library in Pinner Road, North Harrow, is one of four libraries under threat
 

The consultation booklet says: "Giving the community the option to take over some of the libraries and manage them as community libraries has also been considered.

"This would mean removing libraries from the current contract and have those libraries then funded, managed and staffed by volunteers.

"In this case, the council would only fund for the purchase of stock and some IT provision.

"Experience from other library authorities has shown that this would require approximately 12 to 18 months for implementation.

"Whilst community managed libraries is an option that could be considered to help achieve additional savings in future years, this proposition will not achieve the savings that need to be found in 2015/16."

Bob Lawrence Library in Mollison Way, Edgware
Bob Lawrence Library in Mollison Way, Edgware
 

It is suggested some libraries could be left unmanned at other times but accessible to swipecard holders - technology that would cost £20,000 per library to introduce.

Wealdstone Library inside The Wealdstone Centre in High Street, Wealdstone, has been selected as a pilot project to test the system.

Council officers will be touring the libraries to speak to residents about the proposals.

n The consultation closes on January 19 and you can leave comments via www.harrow.gov.uk/library consultation or fill in a survey available at libraries or Harrow Civic Centre or order a copy via libraryconsultation@harrow.gov.uk or call 0208 424 7625.

Hatch End Library, inside Harrow Arts Centre in Hatch End, may be closed alongside three other branches by Labour
Hatch End Library, inside Harrow Arts Centre in Hatch End, may be closed alongside three other branches by Labour
 

SAVINGS

● Bob Lawrence Library - £150,000 a year

● North Harrow Library - £115,000 a year

● Rayners Lane Library - £115,000 a year

● Hatch End Library - £100,000 a year

● Reducing opening hours - £250,000 a year

CURRENT BRANCH LIBRARY HOURS

● Mondays 9.30am to 5.30pm

● Tuesday 9.30am to 8pm

● Wednesday closed

● Thursday 9.30am to 8pm

● Friday 9.30am to 1pm

● Saturday 9am to 5pm

● Sunday closed

PROPOSED BRANCH LIBRARY HOURS

● Monday 9am to 5pm

● Tuesday 3.30pm to 7pm

● Wednesday closed

● Thursday closed

● Friday 9am to 1pm

● Saturday 9am to 5pm

● Sunday closed

SPEAK TO OFFICERS

● Tuesday November 25 2pm to 3.30pm Roxeth Library

● Thursday November 27 6.30pm to 8pm North Harrow Library

● Friday November 28 10am to noon Gayton Library

● Tuesday December 2 6.30pm to 8pm Rayners Lane Library

● Friday December 5 10am to 11.30am Stanmore Library

● Tuesday December 9 2pm to 3.30pm Pinner Library

● Tuesday December 9 6.30pm to 8pm Wealdstone Library

● Thursday December 11 6.30pm to 8pm Bob Lawrence Library

● Monday December 15 2pm to 3.30pm Hatch End Library

● Wednesday December 17 2pm to 3.30pm Harrow Leisure Centre