It’s been a while since we posted on the campaign, so here’s a quick recap and update:
Back in July ’17, Cllr Khan made a statement committing to Higham Hill Library remaining where it is but delaying responding on Wood Street and Lea Bridge Libraries until he’d had a chance to “look more closely at the consultation results”. This was supposed to have happened by October ’17, when the (already much delayed) report was due to be presented to Cabinet.
It’s now April ’18 and we’ve heard nothing official further: still no consultation results, still no report.
The good news is that Louise Duffield, Head of Service for Libraries at Waltham Forest Council, has recently (verbally) told the Friends of Higham Hill Library that the Council is committing not only to Higham Hill Library remaining where it is, but also to the current staffing and level of service – and that it also hopes to extend the opening hours.
So, while it seems clear that we were right to have campaigned as hard as we did – as there was absolutely no safeguarding of library provision in the original proposals (compare with what has recently happened in Wood Street) – and we can congratulate ourselves for that, unfortunately we are still waiting for a clear, official statement from the Council on the future of Higham Hill, Wood Street and Hale End Libraries, which were all at risk.
In the lead up to the local council elections on 3rd May, if you get a chance to speak to your councillors, do ask them about their position on libraries.
Meanwhile, we have lots of ideas for more library activities and events and are always looking for volunteers to help out with everything from children’s craft sessions to gardening. If you would like to get more involved, please get in touch.
Illustration from April, The Walthamstow 2018 Calendar by www.emmascutt.co.uk