Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Hundreds march against library closures in Essex

Hundreds joined a march against library closures in Essex. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hundreds of people joined a protest in Chelmsford against proposals to close a third of libraries in Essex.

The county council has opened a consultation on the plans which would also see a further third run by volunteer groups.

  • The council estimates £1million will be saved by the closures, with investment going into modernising the remaining libraries

Library use in Essex has collapsed therefore we want to create a library service with a wider appeal, which is more relevant to and a better fit with people's lives - one which is online 24-7, is faster, and offers users more choice.

– Cllr Susan Barker, Essex County Council
  • Click below for Hannah Pettifer's report

Andy Abbott, from Save Our Libraries Essex, said: "The important thing is we need libraries as a safe space.

"We need libraries for education, for homeless people, for people who don't have access to the internet, local libraries for people who can't get into town, this is why we need our libraries."

The council wants to close 25 of its 74 libraries. Credit: ITV News Anglia
  • Essex County Council has announced plans to close 25 of its 74 libraries and turn a further 26 over to volunteer groups
  • The council claims library attendance has collapsed - over the past 10 years usage has gone down by almost a third

Tom Coen, Headteacher and St John Payne Catholic School, said: "Students will frequently tell us that they visit their libraries particularly in times leading up to revision and exams, they make great use, so it will have a detrimental impact to their ability to prepare for examinations."

The public consultation will close on 20th February.

The council says it will save £1million by closing libraries. Credit: ITV News Anglia