HALF the libraries in Brent are facing the axe in a brutal cost-cutting plan, it was revealed this week.

Brent Council officers want to shut libraries in Barham Park, Cricklewood, Neasden, Tokyngton, Kensal Rise and Preston to save in the region of £1 million.

A council paper prepared by Sue Harper, director of environment and neighbourhood services, which is due to be put before the Labour administration on Monday, suggests the “transformation project” will improve the quality of library services in Brent, as well as helping the council meet savings targets.

Ms Harper says the six libraries under threat are “poorly located and have low usage”, and promotes the idea of making the six remaining libraries “community hub” which co-locate with other council services.

She adds that the council would need to invest more than £1m over the next 20 years to deal with repairs at the library buildings which could be axed.

The plans have slammed by opposition councils, describing the move as “bitterly disappointing” for Brent Council and accused Labour of resurrecting past library closure plans.

Councillor Daniel Brown, Lib Dem spokesman for environment and neighbourhood services, said: “This is just unbelievable. It’s clear Labour have been waiting four years to implement their library closure plans.

“These proposals are nothing to do with reductions in funding; Labour have wanted to close libraries for years.

“I think a lot of local people are going to be bitterly disappointed to hear this news.”

If the paper is approved on Monday, it will spark a three-month consultation with residents starting on Monday, November 29.

Ms Harper wrote: “It is crucial that the council consults the public since their views need to feed into decisions on the future shape of library services in the borough.”

A closure of six libraries is inevitably going to raise the prospect of job cuts at the council and a consultation with staff and unions is also planned if the paper is approved.