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New plans for Havering libraries and children’s centres

Collier Row Library could be run by volunteers under a new plan. Credit: Google Maps.

Five libraries in Havering could be run by community groups and children’s services could be relocated, under a new proposal being considered by the council. 

They have launched two consultations asking residents how they want the services to be delivered. 

“This consultation reflects that while proposing changes that take into account the different ways local people are using these services,” said council leader Damian White.

“This is about how we use buildings, not whether cherished services delivering fantastic outcomes across our borough should continue.

“Our commitment is that no service will stop and no activities lost that are currently provided at your library or children’s centre, whether that’s breastfeeding advice or a ‘knit and natter’ session.”

Libraries  

One plan would make half of the boroughs libraries community-run, with some continued support from the council. 

Volunteers would organise and run the service but they would still receive rent-free library space, books and computers from the local authority. 

The libraries potentially affected by the scheme are in Collier Row, Elm Park, Gidea Park, Harold Wood and South Hornchurch.

Alongside the consultation, there will be workshops to find groups and individuals who might be interested running the service. 

Children’s Centres

Another scheme would see activities provided by children’s centres moved to schools, early years’ settings and community spaces.

Four centres in Chippenham Road, Hilldene, Ingrebourne and Rainham Village could see their services relocated. 

It is to help them reach the most vulnerable people in the borough, according to the council. 

The three largest centres will continue operating and help coordinate activities in the other areas. 

They are St Kilda’s, Collier Row and Elm Park which represent the north, south and centre of the borough. 

You can find a full schedule of public meetings here

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