THE future looks bleak for Woodford library as up to six libraries in the borough could face closure or relocation.

Redbridge Council has released the latest options which members are discussing as they look to save the authority at least £25 million over the next three years.

The council has outlined an option to close or relocate up to five libraries which could save the council just over £1 million in the next three years.

The authority is also considering closing Ilford Central Library which would save £1.3 million, although this would not happen until 2013/14 if agreed.

There are 12 libraries in the borough and a Conservative councillor, who would not be named, told the Guardian that Woodford library is being tipped for closure.

Wanstead and South Woodford libraries would appear to be safe as South Woodford is currently closed for a revamp and money will also be spent on improvements at Wanstead over the next month.

Both are having self-service machines fitted, something which was done at Gants Hill library earlier this year and Fullwell Cross library in Barkingside.

Geoff Stimpson, 77, of Beresford Drive, Woodford Green, said: "It always seems to be busy there (Woodford libary).

"It is popular with mums and their children, it's a good library and very convenient.

"There was a proposal some years ago to knock it down and move it nearer to the tax office but that didn't happen.

"I heard it had been saved this time."

Joe Layburn is deputy headteacher at Bancroft's Prep School in Woodford Green and is also an award winning children's writer.

He said: "I don't think people fully realise all the magic that goes on in libraries, particularly for children, with author events and other events that are put on.

"It is such an important part of the community, libraries are important in terms of getting children into reading and setting their imaginations soaring.

"The idea of closing libraries is just wrong and anyone who stands back and thinks about it must realise that."

Ian Bond, deputy leader of the council, said: "We have already made significant savings in administration costs, and are planning for more.

"Nevertheless some of the cuts we will have to make will mean reduction in the level of service and the loss of some. We have to make some very difficult and unpalatable decisions; we will endeavour to protect those front-line services that our residents most need.

"The choices will not be easy and will cause some concern and anxiety to residents and staff. We will do our best to take account of the views people express during the consultation process, but it is already clear that we will not be able to protect all the services that people value."