Goodmayes residents ask: How many people can fit in a library?

PROTESTERS crammed into a library to prove the threatened axing of a neighbouring branch will cause “chaos”.

More than 60 people filed into the 70 square metre Seven Kings Library, High Road, Seven Kings, as part of a double protest during Saturday’s National Library Day.

The campaigners are fighting council plans to close Goodmayes Library, Goodmayes Lane, Goodmayes.

They wanted to show the Seven Kings branch, a building which council bosses say Goodmayes will merge with, is too small to meet an increase in demand.

And the protest comes in the same week that figures obtained by campaigners show Goodmayes Library, a 464 square metre building, is the fifth most used of the 13 branches in Redbridge, with 103,000 visitors last year.

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The Seven Kings branch, which opened in July, had 16,000 visitors in the last five months of the year.

Chris Connelly, of campaign group Take Action for Seven Kings, said: “It was a very successful day.

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“Seven Kings Library is just too small to cope and it would be chaos if Goodmayes closed.” He added: “The whole of Goodmayes is united against these plans.”

More than 2,500 signatures have been collected by campaigners since the plans were unveiled last month, with the petition set to land on the desk of council leader Cllr Keith Prince within days.

Protesters withdrew a large number of books from Goodmayes Library during the afternoon.

Ilford South Labour MP Mike Gapes gave a speech at Seven Kings. He described libraries as a “vital resource”.

The council’s plan would see the library close in 2013, saving �191,000 a year.

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