Councillors have pledged to continue working with community groups as plans to close four libraries were approved last night.

Harrow Council’s cabinet met last night to debate plans to make £500,000 worth of cuts to library services across the borough.

Included in the library strategy report produced by the council were plans to close Bob Lawrence, North Harrow, Rayners Lane and Hatch End libraries by May 16.

Campaigners from each library presented petitions and alternative proposals at the meeting, at the Civic Centre, in Station Road, Harrow.

Councillors pledged to provide the groups with support to help them with their business cases.

Cllr Sue Anderson, who is responsible for community, culture and resident engagement, said: "As a council we have had to make a number of tough financial decisions, none of which any council would want to make.

“Most people in their responses to the Take Part consultation wanted us to protect frontline services, such as social care services, elderly care services, care for children, the disabled and keep the arts centre open. This is what we have tried to do.

"Council officers are still in discussions with campaigners to explore options that could involve sharing or community run library facilities, but the proposals must be financially viable so that community run libraries are self-sustaining.

“I know that the potential closures are deeply disappointing for all the residents and campaigners who have supported their community libraries. The reality is that we are not able to keep ten libraries open in the face of £83 million budget cuts and declining usage.”

The report, which also included plans for a new library in Harrow town centre and improvement works to remaining libraries, was approved by the cabinet.

Cllr Anderson added: “The way libraries are used has changed dramatically over the past few years. We believe that if we work with the community a new central library, with a network of community library services across the borough can meet the needs of residents.”