THE planned introduction of parking charges at Wanstead Library met with a furious response at a public meeting this evening.

The library in Spratt Hall Road will be the first in the borough to introduce parking charges in a money raising scheme that will also see charges introduced for parking in streets around public parks in Redbridge.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s area one committee, Alan Cornish of Tennyson Avenue said: “I find this completely outrageous. I know we’re under hard times with the credit crunch but they apply not just to Redbridge Council but also to the residents.”

Cabinet member for Leisure, Cllr Alan Weinberg has defended the move which he has said will free up spaces which are currently used by commuters.

Mr Cornish said: “It would be good if residents of this committee who represent Wanstead would stand up to the disgusting and money grabbing ideas of Cllr Weinberg .

“There’s absolutely no evidence that commuters use the library car park and often the gates don’t open until 8.30am or 9am after the commuters have gone.”

Wanstead ward councillor Michelle Dunn insisted that commuters had used the library car park and said that genuine library users would be able to claim their money back.

She added: “The first hour will be free. There’s also Grove car park for people to use. If anyone wants to use it afterwards they can go outside with another token and then get their money back.”

Mr Cornish warned: “You’re setting up an administrative nightmare that will bear down on the local community.”