We Love Higham Hill Library: Don't move it - Improve it!
This petition had 1,021 supporters
Waltham Forest Council has plans to change community library provision in the Higham Hill area.
The current Higham Hill Library building was designed and purpose-built as a library and has served generations of people in Higham Hill, Lloyd Park and Priory Court for 85 years. It has been allowed to run-down by the Council for a number of years, but remains a well-used and much-loved facility at the heart of its community.
The Council’s preferred option is to close the current library, dispose of the building and sell the site to developers to build housing. It is proposed that the library service will then be moved to a multi-purpose hub in Priory Court Estate.
The background to this situation and the Council’s proposal is available here: http://democracy.walthamforest.gov.uk/documents/s52735/Appendix%202b%20Higham%20Hill%20Business%20Case%201st%20July%202016.pdf
There are currently no details about the size or location of the proposed ‘hub’, or when this might be built. It is likely that any move out of the current building will result in a down-sizing and reduction of library facilities for residents in the Higham Hill / Lloyd Park / Priory Court area.
Higham Hill Library is currently situated in the ideal location for residents in all of those areas, at the meeting point of William Morris and Higham Hill wards, within easy walking distance of Lloyd Park and Priory Court, on a much-used bus route, and close to several local primary schools, all of which use the library for various educational activities. It is a familiar landmark, part of the history of the area, and is welcoming and accessible to all.
Whilst we acknowledge that the building is in need of renovation and modernisation we reject the Council report’s description of it as ‘dark and unwelcoming’. Anyone who has spent time in this library will know the opposite is true. We believe that with some imagination and determination the current building could be refurbished and redesigned to meet the needs of all modern library users.
We believe that we should keep Higham Hill Library in its current building, and improve and extend the library service in this area.
We therefore urge Waltham Forest Council officers to –
• Provide further information and consult fully with local residents about the proposed plans
• Work with local residents to keep Higham Hill Library in its current building, and to investigate ways of fully utilising the library’s services and facilities
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