Last Thursday the Labour Council voted to close down Harrow Green Library. Residents had raised a petition of over 5,000 signatures and local Lib Dems had also raised a petition of over 1,1000 signatures to save the library.
Despite these petitions, fierce local residents’ opposition to the proposal and impassioned speeches, Labour Councillors voted to close the Library. The Tories abstained and the Liberal Democrats were the only party to vote against the closure. Even local Labour Councillors, whose residents had campaigned to stop the closure, voted to shut down Harrow Green Library.
Local Lib Dem Cann Hall Ward Councillor Liz Phillips, who has been leading the campaign in the council said:
“Local residents worked hard on this issue and took time out of their day to come and speak in the debate in good faith, only to find that the Labour Party had stitched up the result in advance.
“I’m not surprised that some residents walked out in disgust. Labour has refused to listen to local residents all along and this council meeting was no different.
“The Labour councillors can’t use a cut in the budget to hide the fact that it is them who are closing down our local library.”
The closure was based on the widely criticised libraries’ review and despite the consultation process, two petitions and recommendations from the council’s own scrutiny panel that no libraries needed to close, the Labour leadership refused to change course.
Lib Dem Leader Councillor Bob Sullivan said:
“The Libraries’ Review has been widely criticised and appears to have been a foregone conclusion from the start.
“The questions asked in the consultation were clearly misleading. For example, residents were asked if they would like their library to start opening on Sundays, but weren’t asked if they minded other libraries closing for this to be achieved.
“Of course residents suggest improved services, but if they knew that the council were robbing Harrow Green to pay for those services I believe they would think again.
Waltham Forest, like many other Councils is planning for the coming winter and want residents to play a vital role in making sure that the borough can cope in the event of severe weather conditions.
Suitable precautions to deal with snow and ice are being put into place, but the Council is hoping that residents will agree to become “Snow Angels” and help clear their vulnerable neighbours’ drives and pathways of snow and ice.
The Snow Angel scheme was piloted last year amongst Council staff who live in the borough and who volunteered to grit and shovel snow from drives, pathways and pavements to keep the borough moving. This proved to be a huge success so now the Council has decided to roll the scheme out to the residents of Waltham Forest.
Volunteers will be provided with the following free equipment:
1 x 20kg bag of grit
Snow scoop and shovel
If you are interested in becoming a “Snow Angel” please contact Amanda Karrinton on 0208 496 1296 or email on email@example.com by 31st August 2011 and you will be provided with further information.
There is already a big response to the fight to save Harrow Green Library.
The Council’s consultation is still running, so, if you haven’t signed the petition so far, please go on-line now at: http://ourcampaign.org.uk/HarrowGreenLibrary
Over 60 Leyton residents packed the meeting room at the Score Complex on Oliver Road to attend our first Leyton Ward Residents’ Forum meeting on 19th May 2011. This was the first of such meetings following the Labour Councils scrapping of the Community Council meetings.
Items on the agenda included presentations from Council Officers regarding works in the area in preparation for the Olympics and from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team; further information on how to elect a representative from the area onto the Leyton Cricket Ground Management Committee; Suggestions on how to spend £10,000 in the area and an open Q & A session where you could ask your local councillors about anything you like!
Local Councillors Winnie Smith, Bob Sullivan and Naheed Qureshi were delighted by the huge turnout (much higher than in other wards in the borough) and the positive response from Leyton residents.
Residents should note that we are in the process of collecting YOUR ideas on how to spend £10,000 in the area! If you think you have an idea on how the money can be spent to improve the area or the lives of those living in it and would like to let us know – please contact us immediately!! or collect some forms at Leyton Library and Seddon Centre Clyde Place/Beaumont Road.
We will be discussing this matter further and giving you the opportunity to comment on suggestions received at our next meeting in September!
Finally, if there is anything you would like to see on the agenda of our next meeting please let us know. These meetings are for your benefit and any input from you will be welcome!!
Click below if you want to see the minutes of the meeting –
Leyton Ward Forum Minutes 19-5-11
Councillor Bob Sullivan urges all users of this playing field to join the campaign to save it from becoming an Olympic Holding Area, which will mean it will be closed to the public from September 2011 until the end of December 2012.
Who knows what will happen then!
Please sign our on-line petition at:
37A Skeltons Lane
A planning application has recently been sent to the Council to turn the ground and first floors of the warehouse into an adult training centre for around 40 students.
We will keep you informed of the outcome.
Liberal Democratshave demanded that the Council apologises to local residents for wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds on the departure of Andrew Kilburn the Chief Executive.
Councillor Naheed Qureshi says: “At a time when money is tight and every penny counts, it is a scandal that Labour councillors are prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to get rid of someone.
There are many important local services that badly need that sort of cash.
It is a bit rich of Labour councillors to complain about cuts and then go on to waste money on this scale. Local taxpayers deserve a Council that spends their money responsibly.”