Conservative councillors have defended deferring a decision over the future of library services until after the local election.

Campaigner Anne Crook has started a petition against a proposal by Vision, which runs leisure facilities on behalf of Redbridge Council, to move services from Woodford Green Library, in Snakes Lane West, to James Hawkey Hall, in Broomhill Road.

She criticised councillors on the Area 2 committee for postponing a decision on the move until after the May 22 poll, claiming they were not doing enough.

But Conservative councillors in Monkham Ward said they postponed the decision because they are opposed to the plan and asked for a rethink.

Cllr Jim O'Shea said: “The petition is basically implying that councillors are doing nothing about this issue and this is simply not the case.

“We were really unhappy with the proposals put forward by Vision for much the same reasons as the petition, so that is the reason we have postponed the decision.

“I want to make absolutely clear that Monkham councillors asked for Vision to look again at the plans because the plans are not workable.

“We all completely opposed the idea of moving the library and this is the reason we have delayed a decision, the petition has got it all wrong.”

Liberal Democrat Ian Bond, deputy leader of the council, previously said Woodford Green Library had been earmarked for closure for some time due to the condition of the building and relocation was needed.

Campaigners claim the new location will restrict access to services.