“No service lost, no activity stopped”, in new consultation

Published: Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The future of the borough's children's centres and libraries go out to public consultation

Havering Council has launched two consultations asking residents to share their views on the way the borough’s libraries and children’s centres services should be delivered in the future.

Havering’s leader, Councillor Damian White, has vowed that although the consultations will look at how the services are delivered, no services or activities currently available at libraries or children’s centres will be lost to the communities they serve today.

The Council has also begun a consultation exercise aimed at identifying whether there is an appetite in Havering to explore whether so-called ‘community hubs’ –  local places at the heart of communities, offering and hosting a wide range of services, public events and activities, and spaces to meet friends and contribute to community life – could work in Havering.

The consultation will close on Wednesday, 18 September.

Take part in the consultation online

Public meetings will be held at every library and children’s centre to discuss the proposals with residents and service users (schedule of meetings below).


During the consultation, which starts today, residents will be asked to consider a proposal to keep all ten of the borough’s libraries open as part of the statutory library service, but five of these libraries – Collier Row, Elm Park, Gidea Park, Harold Wood and South Hornchurch, would become council-supported but community-run libraries. 

Those libraries would be run on a day-to-day basis by community groups if such groups can be identified but would remain in current library buildings and still benefit from a range of financial and strategic support from the Council, including:

  • provision of rent-free library space and maintenance
  • payment of a small annual sum to community groups to assist with the cost of running the building
  • provision of book stock
  • provision of internet connection and PCs
  • support and advice from library staff about reader development, events management, other technical issues

This way of working has proven important in protecting library services in other parts of the country. The Council’s consultation will also involve holding workshops for interested people, groups and voluntary organisations to identify capacity to deliver community-run libraries. 

Children’s centres

The consultation does not propose to stop any children’s centre activities or services but looks at running them from different community venues such as schools, early years’ settings, community spaces as well as the three current largest children’s centres in the borough. This would enable key services to better reach the borough’s most vulnerable families.

Under the proposal, the centres that will remain would be St Kilda’s, Collier Row and Elm Park, meaning a children’s centre in each area (north, south and central) of the borough. The plans would see these centres coordinate activities for children and parents in the rest of our communities.

Services currently run from the below centres would be moved to other venues: 

  • Chippenham Road 
  • Hilldene 
  • Ingrebourne 
  • Rainham Village

Community Hubs

As part of these consultations, the Council is also asking the community to come forward with ideas and views about ‘community hubs’. The consultation asks how groups and individuals can run the hubs and where they should be.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “We are absolutely committed to protecting our community services and the benefits that our children’s centres and libraries provide. This consultation reflects that while proposing changes that take into account the different ways local people are using these services.

“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.” 

Public meetings will be held at every library and children’s centre to discuss the proposals with residents and service users (schedule of meetings below).

Schedule of public meetings

Area Address Date Times
Elm Park

Elm Park Library

01708 434919

St Nicholas Avenue, Elm Park, Romford, RM12 4PT

Tuesday 2 July 10.30am-12noon
Harold Wood

Harold Wood Library

01708 434975

Arundel Road, Harold Wood, Romford, RM3 0RX

Wednesday 3 July 6.30pm-8pm
Harold Hill

Hilldene Children's Centre

01708 340833

267 Straight Road, Harold Hill, RM3 7JP

Friday 5 July


Drop-in session


Rainham Library

01708 434970

6 Celtic Farm Road, Rainham, RM13 9GP

Monday 8 July 6.30pm-8pm
Collier Row

Collier Row Children's Centre

01708 434578

28 Clockhouse Lane, Romford, RM5 3QJ

Tuesday 9 July 9.30am-11am
Harold Hill

Harold Hill Library

19A Farnham Road, Harold Hill, Romford, RM3 8ED

Tuesday 9 July 2.30pm-4pm
Collier Row

Collier Row Library

01708 434936

45 Collier Row Road, Collier Row, Romford, RM5 3NR

Wednesday 10 July 6.30pm-8pm
Harold Hill

Chippenham Road Children's Centre

01708 433988

85-89 Chippenham Road, Romford, RM3 8HP

Tuesday 16 July


Drop-in session

Harold Hill


01708 376004

343 Dagnam Park Drive, Harold Hill, RM3 9EN

Wednesday 17 July 12noon-1.30pm

Central Library

01708 432389

St Edwards Way, Romford, RM1 3AR

Wednesday 17 July



Hornchurch Library

01708 434903

44 North Street, Hornchurch, RM11 1TB

Thursday 18 July 2.30pm-4pm
Elm Park

Elm Park Children's Centre

01708 451110

Diban Avenue, Hornchurch, RM12 4YH

Tuesday 23 July 9.30am-11am

Upminster Library

01708 434933

26 Corbets Tey Road, Upminster, RM14 2BB

Wednesday 24 July 6.30pm-8pm
South Hornchurch

South Hornchurch Library

01708 434921

Rainham Road, Rainham, RM13 7RD

Thursday 25 July 10.30am-12noon
Harold Hill

Hilldene Children's Centre

01708 433988

267 Straight Road, Harold Hill, RM3 7JP

Friday 26 July


Drop-in session

Harold Hill

Chippenham Road Children's Centre

01708 433988

85-89 Chippenham Road, Romford, RM3 8HP

Tuesday 30 July


Drop-in session


St Kilda's Children's Centre

01708 434608

90 Eastern Road, Romford, RM1 3QA

Wednesday 31 July 1.30pm-3pm
Gidea Park

Gidea Park Library

01708 434978

Balgores Lane, Gidea Park, Romford, RM2 6BS

Wednesday 31 July 6.30pm-8pm