Petition to save Hawkey Hall to be debated in council
PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 March 2016
Protestors will present a petition at Redbridge Council tonight to stop the proposed demolition of Sir James Hawkey Hall.
There are now 1,527 signatures which means councillors have to debate this at a later meeting.
The petition is also calling for the council to stop the transfer of Woodford Green Library to Hawkey Hall, in Broomhill Road.
In January it was revealed that the 75-year-old building, first opened by Winston Churchill, could be torn down for a community centre.
Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal subsequently told the Recorder: “It could be demolished if the council goes ahead with a further regeneration plan.”
He said nothing had been confirmed, but added: “What I want is a community facility with housing, that is what we are trying to do all over the borough on brownfield sites.”
Conservative councillors have protested the move, organising the petition which is now going to full council.
Cllr Tom McLaren (Con, Church End) said: “This was actually the easiest petition we have ever run.
“It shows the depth of feeling there is about these plans.”
Cllr McLaren confirmed that the Tories would look at getting the building declared a community asset if the council sold off the land for development.
He added: “The good thing is this is not going to happen next week, we are looking at one or two years down the line. We have got some time to come up with some options.
Cllr McLaren said he was most worried that the public “would not be consulted on”. The council leader previously promised a full consultation.
Tonight’s council meeting is dedicated to the budget.
Members will discuss the council’s proposals of a 1.9 per cent increase in council tax and also plans to invoke a 2pc tax to pay for social care.
Read the full report in next week’s Recorder.
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