Live updates from tonight's key meeting on the future of Waltham Forest’s libraries.

7PM: After a brief introduction by council leader Cllr Chris Robbins, Tory opposition leader Cllr Matt Davis has opened proceedings with an attack on the council's plans to close two libraries.

Earlier, a large crowd of between 100 to 200 union members gathered outside the town hall to protest against both council and government cuts.

7.10PM: After a brief row between Cllr Davis and Robbins, the cabinet has approved the plans to launch a consultation into the library closures.

It will ask the public if they agree with proposals to shut branches in Hall Lane, south Chingford, and Harrow Road, Leytonstone, as part of a borough-wide shake-up.

The proposal includes extending opening hours and improving computer facilities at libraries in north Chingford, Walthamstow Leyton and Leytonstone.

The Conservatives say the council’s proposal is flawed, but the council leadership insist change is necessary to save money and improve the library service.

Cllr Davis accused the council's Labour leadership of being irrational over which branches it had earmarked for closure.

He said the decision to shut South Chingford library was politically motivated because there are few Labour voters in the area.

Cllr Robins denied the claims. He hit back and said the Conservatives had not objected to an overall cut of £1million to the borough's library service which had been included in its March budget.

The Tory and Labour leaders also blamed each other's parties for the scale of cuts nationwide.

Let us know what you think of the proposals. Leave a comment below, or contact Daniel Binns on 07795 476 625

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