Communities in Walthamstow have reacted with fury to plans to close their libraries.

Protests were held at Higham Hill and Wood Street libraries this week, as Waltham Forest Council held consultations about their futures.

The council wants to sell off the two properties and move the services to new premises, which it says will provide better accessibility and improved facilities for communities.

Under current proposals, new library services would be provided as part of the redevelopment of the Marlowe Road estate and at a “multi-service hub” in Priory Court.

However, opponents say the changes offers “false choices” and the downsized services will affect children and older people.

Mum-of-two and Wood Street library campaigner Rebecca Gill said: “It is a scandal that such a massive decision to sell a historic building that is the cornerstone of our community is based on such flimsy evidence.

“It is made worse by the consultation questions that offer a false choice between vague proposals for a smaller, new library or the existing space, but without any funds.

“Like many other families we use the library most weeks as it is essential our kids have access to a wide range of books. 

“The council’s own data shows big population growth predicted in the borough in the next five years, particularly among five to 15-year-olds and over-65s.

“These are also the biggest library users. It makes no sense to build a smaller library for more users.”

Around 300 people attended a demonstration outside a consultation event at Higham Hill library on Monday evening. (October 10).

Under proposals, the current building, which has stood on the site for 85 years, would be demolished.

An online petition to save the library has attracted almost 500 signatures since its launch two months ago.

Library campaigner Susan Wills said: “This is not a consultation. in the sense that there aren’t any options, we are just being told we are going to lose this lovely community building.”

“It is a lovely building, to us this is a local landmark, but it is also the library in the borough that is most used by children, it is a community building”.

Waltham Forest council insists services will not be moved until a suitable building is found to accommodate new libraries.

Council cabinet member for customer services, Cllr Sharon Waldron said: “We know how much libraries are valued by our community and we remain absolutely committed to maintaining and improving them.

The proposals involve relocating two of the four libraries into more modern and accessible buildings that are closer to other facilities.”

“This approach not only aims to create higher quality libraries, but will also help safeguard these popular community facilities for future generations.”

The consultation on library plans runs until November 30. To take part online, visit: