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Plans to relocate Woodford Green Library slammed by councillor, who believes axing of area committees to blame

11:22 24 July 2014

Deputy mayor Linda Huggett

Deputy mayor Linda Huggett

Archant

A library earmarked for relocation is a victim of the “abolishment of the voice of local democracy” brought about by the axing of area committees, according to a councillor.

Wes Streeting, deputy leader of Labour and cabinet member for health and wellbeingWes Streeting, deputy leader of Labour and cabinet member for health and wellbeing

There are plans for Woodford Green library, in Snakes Lane West, to be moved to Sir James Hawkey Hall in Broomhill Road, Woodford Green.

They were discussed at the area committee two meeting earlier this year, but have not been debated since.

And last week’s decision to axe area committees will make it more difficult for residents to oppose the plans, says Cllr Linda Huggett (Conservative, Monkhams).

“A library in Hawkey Hall will not work and residents will have further to walk. We really are not very happy.”

Chairman of the Woodford Green Amenities Group, Geoffrey Stimpson, said of the library: “It is a focal point that everybody can reach and come down to, but if it is moved it will be away from everything.”

The matter will be discussed at the health and wellbeing board on September 9.

Cllr Huggett added: “It looks like they are just going to steamroll it.

“If they won’t listen to what we say, we will probably have to requisition the action and bring it to council.”

Cllr Wes Streeting, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “I do think that moving it to the hall would save costs, make more use of the hall and improve the facilities for residents. But I am keen to hear what residents and colleagues think about this plan and will remain open-minded.”

Read more:

Council votes to axe area committees

Labour leader Jas Athwal: Keeping area committee meetings will bankrupt the borough

Area committees: Vital for local democracy or failed way to engage with residents?

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