Library support grows

Council’s consultation continues as library campaigns gather momentum

Hale End Library users

Users of Hale End Library showing their support

Residents are being given until the end of November to take part in a public consultation on the future of the borough’s libraries.

Waltham Forest Council is seeking views on its ‘library improvement programme’ which has so far seen vocal opposition from people unhappy at the proposed demolition of up to three library buildings.

In August, soon after revealing its plans, the council delayed a decision over relocating Hale End Library after more than 3,000 people signed a petition to save its current building in Castle Avenue.

A campaign has now also been launched against the closure of the 85-year-old Higham Hill Library building, which the council proposes moving instead to a new ‘community hub’ at Priory Court Estate.

More than 700 people have signed a petition against the plan. Ananda Rutherford, part of the We Love Higham Hill Library group, said: “The council is proposing to knock down this popular library and sell the land to developers for flats. This is a highly-valued community building – the consultation doesn’t mention the destruction of it but we think people need to know about the folly of their proposal.”

In its consultation the council claims it is “committed to managing and improving our library and information service” and that its plans will “ensure all residents live within 1.5 miles” of one of the borough’s eight libraries.

A third library, Wood Street, is proposed to be moved from its current building to a new site within the nearby Marlowe Road Estate redevelopment.

To take part in the council’s libraries consultation: