Harrow Green Library Campaign

Post date: Aug 29, 2011 7:45:03 PM

From Ros Kane roskane@btinternet.com

Sign the Petition NOW!



STATEMENT to Mayor, Councillors and media

· Senior police officer revealed that 312 Waltham Forest residents were arrested in riots, August 2011, stating an urgent need for MORE facilities, not less.

· Waltham Forest Council plans to close a library serving two of the borough’s most deprived wards! (Cathall & Cann Hall)

· The council admits the value of libraries in deprived areas, yet expects people to travel to a ‘Library Plus’. Some children and adults will therefore never go to a library again. This in the face of poor literacy standards amongst people in disadvantaged areas!

· South Leytonstone lacks public facilities, with centres closing. The Click Centre is closed; the Epicentre and Pastures Youth Centre risk closure. Gang, drug and knife crime is rife. In 2010 we saw a spate of shootings and stabbings on local streets. To shut one of the few remaining facilities is nothing short of extreme and destructive shortsightedness. It would leave South Leytonstone with practically no community facilities. The proposal has caused disbelief, shock and the strongest criticism by local people and celebrities such as Sir Derek Jacobi who grew up locally.

· Local schools take children to Harrow Green library and are unlikely to take them further. Generations of under-privileged children will miss out on exposure to the benefits and pleasures of libraries.

· We question whether £1m is needed to renovate the library and ask where this figure comes from. We consider the library to be serviceable in its present state.

· We want the library to continue in its present form. We have devised various financial options to ensure it will remain open.

· It is essential to keep current services such as Children’s Centre activities in the library – a neutral space acceptable to people who might avoid other venues. We want the WHOLE building used fully all week to benefit local people through a variety of organisations.

· We call for the library to be maintained in its present form. Failing that, we would propose four options which would enable Harrow Green library to continue to exist:

Option One

Reduce opening hours by 5 hours across ALL libraries and reinvest the savings in opening Harrow Green library for 25 hours a week.

Option Two

Make Leytonstone library a LOCAL library, not a Library Plus.

This would save £10,000.

Option Three

Make Leyton library a LOCAL library, not a Library Plus.

This would save £30,000.

Option Four

Close EVERY library in the borough, except Central Library in E17, on Mondays. This would save approximately £200,000.

It makes no sense to have TWO Library Pluses in Leyton / Leytonstone at the expense of closing down Harrow Green completely and permanently!!

Next meeting: Sunday 4 September, 3pm at

Cann Hall Baptist Church Hall.

See you there!

Please continue to send in completed petition forms - we still need a very big push before 6 September