No-one disputes that we need to keep funding the libraries in Redbridge. But it looks as though the controversial proposals to subsidise South Woodford Library by opening a gym and to move Woodford Library to Sir James Hawkey Hall are going to be pushed through without any proper public consultation or a serious business case to show whether these moves will be effective.
Given that there are already several gyms and fitness facilities in the South Woodford area, it is not clear how a new gym can either make money or if it does, how it can do so without damaging the already existing businesses.
Since Vision does not pay business rates it would represent unfair competition to the hard-working people who have already set up such facilities. The council and Vision should be organising a full and open consultation with up-to-date plans and a proper business case in order to explain their proposals – and examine alternatives to the gym idea – in conjunction with the local community. Instead it looks as though, particularly in the absence of Area Committees, the new Labour administration, supported by the supine Conservatives, are simply going to push this through. Shame.
Cllr Gwyneth Deakins, Liberal Democrat, Roding ward.