MESSAGES of support for a library closed last week after months of campaigning have been daubed across wooden boards put up in front of the building.

Preston Road library is one of six closed in a cull by Brent Council after a High Court decision ruled last week that the libraries would not be saved.

Messages including “Give us back our library”, “Why have you done this?” and “cultural vandalism” were written across the boards put up after the decision was reached last Thursday.

Among the graffiti was a picture of the leader of Labour-led Brent Council, Councillor Ann John, criticising her for the decision she took with her cabinet.

The council announced plans to shut six of the twelve libraries in the borough in April.

Campaigners launched the Brent SOS (Save our Six) Libraries campaign against the council's decision to close Preston, Barham Park, Tokyngton, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise and Neasden libraries.

Brent SOS Libraries sought a judicial review arguing the decision was "flawed" as it failed to assess local needs and the impact of the closures. A three-day judicial review was held at the High Court in August.

Marilyn Segall has supported the campaign to save the library, which she has used for thirty years. Passing the library today she said: “We’re very sad for the children of Brent. I can’t believe they have boarded it up so quickly.

“I thought they would wait until people had the opportunity to return their books.

“There were several members of the police out here on Thursday after the decision. There was some protesting at Kensal Rise Library so they must have expected some trouble here.

"We gave them all the arguments to save the library and we’re still having events of support for the cause.”

Mother Deborah Doyle, used the library with her eight-year-old daughter Eleanor. She said: “This was a much easier place for us to go to. We live where we are equidistant from here and Brent Town Library but this was a great library to use.

“We have a car so it is ok for us to go to the other library but it’s not helpful for others, especially for those who can’t afford to run a car. This will affect the disabled and elderly also.”

Baiju Buch, 35, said “They have a number of magazines and newspapers here that a lot of people like to read. It was shocking to hear it would be closed. It’s a great place to meet and greet and a lot of younger people used it."

Her husband, Jigesh, 37, said: “We’re a big fan of libraries but I guess we’ll have to use Brent Town Hall library now. It’s a shame this has happened.”

Cllr John last week talked about the Library Transformation programme, which will take place now a decision has been reached.

The system involves the closure of the six libraries but improvements to the remaining six libraries in the borough, with plans for a huge re-development of Wembley Library.

The council is saving £1 million a year, of which £185,000 will be reinvested in improving the stock and services in the remaining libraries.

This will also include seven day a week library openings, extended hours and new equipment in each of the six remaining libraries.

In a briefing last Thursday, Cllr John said the decision to close six libraries was not taken "lightly".

She said: “It took great guts and a lot of management to get a group of 40 Labour councillors who don’t like closing anything, because they are here to expand services and not to reduce them, to agree to support a budget which included this and then to stick with it.

"People have criticised us for doing a naff consultation. They’ve criticised us for not getting the quality impact assessment.

“They criticised us for not considering all the alternative proposals. They’ve criticised us on the basis that we havn’t considered the distances [people have to go].

“Mr Justice Ouseley dismissed the lot. He said we did an extensive and elaborate process of consultation and then the equalities impact assessment was informed, thorough, conscientious and timely.”

Celebrities such as playwright Alan Bennett, singer Nick Cave and the bands including the Pet Shop Boys backed the campaign to stop the closures.