Anger over council's plans to close a third of libraries

The council plans to close 25 out of its 74 libraries. Credit: ITV News Anglia.
  • Click below to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer

Essex County Council has been fiercely criticised after announcing plans to close a third of its libraries as a cost cutting exercise.

After years of declining usage the council says its library estate is no longer fit for purpose. They say proposals, laid out in a public consultation, will result in a more streamlined modern service, fit for the future.

Essex has the second-highest number of libraries in the UK. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The council has been accused of "ripping the heart" out of the very communities it serves - after announcing plans to close 25 of its 74 libraries and turn 26 others over to volunteer groups.

It says over the past 10 years library usage has gone down by almost a third, that's 100,000 less users. As a result book loans have decreased by more than a half.

The public consultation opens in two weeks. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The consultation launches on November 29 2018 and lasts 12 weeks through to 20 February 2019.

Any changes proposed will be considered in June 2019.