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Generally councils of all political persuasions have coped with very well with spending cuts, in terms of maintaining the services that matter to their residents. Labour-run Brent is an unhappy exception. They decided the best way to save money was to close half their libraries – thus spurning the offer of volunteers to keep them going.

This seems to have caused a backlash by Labour members in the borough. Cllr Ann John – who was the council leader until last year – has been deselected as a Labour candidate fro next year's elections. So has Cllr Colom Moloney – one of her fellow ward councillors. Cllr James Powney has also been ditched.

The new regime now say they want to "work with" the library campaigners "moving forwards" but the buildings have already been sold off. The new leadership are culpable as they voted through the closures. If they had wanted to stop them the time for a coup d'etat was two or three years ago.

Still, I suppose the change of approach is welcome. The Labour Party nationally has tended to excuse Labour councils cutting services saying central government was to blame for spending cuts which left "no alternative." Labour in Brent said the spending cuts meant "inevitably" closing the libraries. It is now apparent that not even the Labour Party own members are convinced by this claim.

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