Broadcaster Mariella Frostrup has warned that widespread cuts to libraries threaten the very heart of what makes Britain a good place to live. She spoke out last night as she formally re-opened a Grade II-listed library in Notting Hill after a £250,000 refurbishment to repair flood damage. The re-opening was "fantastic" but "extremely rare," said the presenter of The Book Show on Sky Arts. "Unfortunately it's probably no coincidence that one of the richest boroughs in London, Kensington and Chelsea, feel they can afford to do it. There's a huge pressure from their upper-middle-class voters. But other boroughs and counties aren't so lucky. "A country that loses its cultural heart loses its heart altogether," she added. "To ignore or downgrade cerebral pursuits whose benefits aren't necessarily immediately financially obvious is like making the outside of your body look OK while eating fried food. It's damaging to the human psyche. "Libraries are one of the great emblems of a cultivated society." Libraries had defined her childhood, she said, as she did not grow up in a wealthy home and books were expensive. "There are huge numbers of people for whom buying a book is a massive expense."