Waltham Forest Council could make a dramatic U-turn on plans to close a library after a year-long community campaign.

The local authority announced plans in July 2016 to shut Higham Hill library in Walthamstow and move the service to a new Library Local “multi-purpose hub” in Priory Court.

However, the move was met by anger from local residents, who said proposals would lead to a “downsizing” of the service, and launched a campaign to keep the library at his current site.

The council later ran a consultation, which eventually received more than 3,500 responses from members of the public.

Now, the authority’s new cabinet member for libraries, arts and culture, Cllr Ahsan Khan, says he is backing calls for Higham Hill Library to remain open.

Cllr Khan said: “It is my intention to look more closely at the consultation results before making recommendations on Wood Street and Lea Bridge libraries to cabinet.

“I can say that my position is that Higham Hill library will not be moved and this will be set out in the report due to be presented to Cabinet in October."

A final decision on whether to keep the library in the same building it has occupied in North Countess Road for more than 85 years, is now likely to be made by cabinet on October 10.

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The future of Wood Street Library remains more uncertain

Susan Wills, one of the founders of the save Higham Hill library campaign, said although new plans were not yet concrete, the latest development was a positive for the community.

She added: “It is a bit early to say whether this is a U-turn or not, but it is a very large and positive step forwards.

“Cllr Khan seems to be very supportive and we are hopeful that the value of the library to the community in its existing building has been recognised.

“It was fantastic that so many people had their say, I cannot think of a council consultation that would normally have more than a couple of hundred responses.

“It just shows the strength of feeling from the public, we are really pleased with the recognition we have had for both the library and the campaign.”

But, no update has been made on the future of Wood Street library, which the council planned to switch to a yet-unbuilt hub on the redeveloped Marlowe Road estate.

A similar campaign was spearheaded by residents in the area to keep their library open, with an online petition attracting more than 700 signatures.