March 15 2014 Latest news:
By Zjan Shirinian , Chief Reporter
Monday, February 14, 2011
CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after council bosses abandoned controversial plans to close a library.
Thousands of angry voices rejected the proposed closure of Goodmayes Library, Goodmayes Lane, Goodmayes – with more than 4,500 putting their name to a petition.
Everyone from school headteachers to councillors from the Conservative administrative hit out at what they described as an “ill thought through” proposal.
And with town hall chiefs buckling to pressure and scrapping the money-saving proposal a month after announcing it, campaigners have a message for people in Redbridge: “Your voice can be heard”.
Sue Nolan, cabinet member for leisure, said on Friday she had “listened to the community”.
She added: “I believe that there are alternative ways of providing the services in Goodmayes Library and I now look to the community to help deliver this valued service.
“There has been much talk about how we should provide the service in a different way and we are talking to other neighbouring boroughs in relation to shared services but would welcome any initiatives that the community would also like me to consider.”
Campaigner Chris Connelly, of Take Action for Seven Kings, said a group was ready to talk with the council about safeguarding the library’s future.
Calling the original proposals “madness”, he said: “The size and scale of the campaign and petition is unprecedented.”
Labour Cllr Bert Jones added his voice to the delight behind the decision.
He said savings in backroom library staff – which he said total more than £300,000 – need to be made, and the possibility of expanding the library to accommodate offices should be looked at.
Labour group leader Cllr Bob Littlewood welcomed the turnaround but said youth services and adult social services faced big cuts in the council’s 2011/12 budget.
Town hall chiefs said closing Goodmayes Library would save it £191,000 from 2013.