The council says Harrow’s public computers will be upgraded by March after figures revealed more than half of them do not work.

Harrow Council’s response to a freedom of information request submitted by blogger Paul Boakes, who runs community website iharrow, shows that as of October 19, 76 of the borough’s 142 public computers are out of order.

Library users who spoke to the Harrow Times yesterday criticised the amount of machines not working and called for them to fixed.

Portfolio holder for cultural services, Councillor David Perry, said upgrades will begin soon and will be completed by March.

He added: “The IT problems in our libraries are well documented, and I am pleased that the council listened to our residents and agreed an upgrade in January this year.

“This upgrade will see brand new computers in all of our libraries, an updated computer management system, a modern day People's Network and most importantly we are installing Wi-Fi free of charge in all libraries for the very first time.

“I am always sorry to hear residents are not happy with the IT services available. However, during these difficult financial times, the council allocated the much needed funding in order to prioritise the upgrades to happen.”

The worst of Harrow’s 11 libraries to try and use a computer is at Gayton Library in St John’s Road, where just four of the 19 machines are working.

The revelation is the latest in a series of IT problems at the authority, with its planning, email and parking fine payment systems all failing during the last month – despite the council asking those without home Internet access to use the borough’s libraries after shutting down the telephone service to pay fines in August.