A proposed shake-up of library services could leave vulnerable people isolated, according to camapigners.

Anne Crook, 59, of Monkhams Avenue, has collected 550 signatures on a petition in protest at a plan to close Woodford Green Library, in Snakes Lane West, and move services to Sir James Hawkey Hall, in Broomhill Road.

South Woodford Library, in High Road, will share space with fitness facilities under the proposal.

Ms Crook said: "Woodford Green residents are concerned that they will be losing a purpose-built library in a central location near the shops and station and are being offered instead a more temporary arrangement in a multi-purpose hall in a less accessible place, particularly for elderly residents.

"Woodford Green Library is well used, particularly by the elderly.

“For elderly people the library allows them to read the newspapers and also to socialise at a convenient location.  It also provides them with access to computers which many elderly people do not own."

Under the proposal, users will have to use self-service with less books available on Monday mornings, Friday and Saturday.
Conservative Cllr Linda Huggett previously described the plan as “half-baked” and is concerned that it has been pushed through for consideration by cabinet.

“I have registered my objections and shall be pursuing this," she said.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Bond, defended the proposals, stating the Woodford Green Library had been earmarked for disposal for some time and relocation was needed.

"The building has been in a poor state and for 10 years it has been common knowledge that action has had to be taken. We do not want to lose the library so relocation is inevitable," he said.

A decision will be made by the Council Cabinet on April 8.