Goodmayes library fight brings council and community together

CABINET members are looking forward to working closer with the community after a strong campaign persuaded them to change their minds on closing Goodmayes Library.

Redbridge Cabinet’s revised budget, which shows that �191,000 will now not be cut per year from 2013 was passed at the cabinet meeting at Ilford Town Hall, High Road, Ilford on Tuesday.

It will now go before a full council meeting along with the rest of the budget on March 3.

Deputy leader Cllr Ian Bond said the campaign to save the library in Goodmayes Lane had united the community.

“A large number of organisations involved value the library. “We’re in a better position now to involve the community than we were before. It does bring people together.”

And Cllr Bond, who is also the cabinet member for resources, has reassured residents that the money will be there, amid concerns the council would keep the library open, but need to look at other ways of funding it.

“There are no plans to close the library. I can’t absolutely guarantee that the library will not close in the future but we’ve done the budget up until 2014 and we’ve dropped the proposal to close Goodmayes Library. The budget is also there to pay for current staffing levels.”

Most Read

Instead savings have been found elsewhere, while a revision of the government grant in the council’s favour has also helped.

“What we’ve done is go through the budget with a fine tooth comb,” Cllr Bond said. “We agreed strongly that we find the money to keep it open.”

Senior councillors are still looking for other ways of running libraries in the future as pressure mounts on the borough’s budget.

Sue Nolan, cabinet member for leisure, said on Friday: “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.”

Council leader Keith Prince has been talking to other borough leaders and has asked for community ideas.