THE FIGHT to save a library from demolition has taken its next step with campaigners urging supporters to show the council their love for it.

A vote to relocate four libraries in Waltham Forest, including the “much-loved” Hale End Library in Highams Park, was passed by the council on Tuesday (July 14).

Campaign organiser, Oliver Shykles, said this was an “expected setback” and it is now up to concerned supporters to voice their anger against the plans.

A consultation phase has begun where those wishing for the library to remain at its Castle Avenue site can actively oppose the council’s plans.

The council is planning to move it to smaller premises in Signal Walk, by the Highams Park Tesco superstore, because they argue usage levels and community engagement at the current site is down.

Despite Save Hale End Library’s online petition receiving more than 3,000 signatures and a supporting Facebook group holding more than 1,100 members, the council maintains it is “not enough”.

At the meeting, Mr Shykles pleaded his case to the council by contesting the report made by council officers, on which councillors used to vote in favour of relocation.

With only three minutes to speak, he pointed out the “abundant inaccuracies and spurious statements” in the report, which “paints a picture of a library nobody would recognise”.

He said: “Officers claim our library sits on a quiet residential street, listing its address as Castle Avenue.

“Yet to anyone who actually lives in Highams Park the library is on The Avenue, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the neighbourhood.”

Holding up a photograph of a bus passing the library he disputed the officers’ claim the library is not on a bus route.

He added: “Our library is near the station and the current Mini-Holland proposal.

“Our library has a car-park with disabled bays just 18 metres away. The proposed site is three times that distance.

“Our library is close to four schools, three nurseries, and a doctor's surgery, the proposed site is further away from them all.”

Regardless, the vote was passed and Mr Shykles was told the campaign must “put together a comprehensive case” as to how the current building can work without additional council investment.

Mr Shykles maintains “It is definitely not over” with it up to the whole of Highams Park “to show even more metal than it has already”.

The campaign’s next phase will see Highams Park residents lobby councillors across Waltham Forest, writing letters and “generally making a bit of nuisance” of themselves.

The consultation period has been extended to September after a successful letter writing campaign made sure holidaymakers would not be denied their say.

To coincide with the council’s full cabinet meeting tonight (July 14), campaigners are holding a musical celebration of books outside Walthamstow Town Hall from 7pm.

To view or sign the petition, visit here. The Save Highams Park Library Facebook group can be viewed here.