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Essex Libraries - an update

February 21, 2019 1:38 PM

Moden library (Photo by Kyle Ryan on Unsplash)We would like to say a very big thank you to the hundreds of residents who signed our "Save Our Libraries" petition across Brentwood. Your support and encouragement for our campaign has been amazing and it's sent a clear message to the Conservatives running Essex County Council (ECC) that you don't want your libraries closed and opening hours cut. The ECC libraries consultation has now closed and all the petitions have been handed in.

The number and size of the petitions has already made it very clear that there is strong demand across Essex to keep as many of our 74 libraries open as possible and to develop them further as community hubs that offer far more than just books and internet access. The Liberal Democrat group library amendment moved at the recent County Council budget setting meeting guaranteed that every single library building would be fully assessed by the County Council to see if it could be adapted, converted or extended for greater community use. We believe that Tory controlled ECC shouldn't be closing libraries - it should be maximising the potential these library buildings have to offer. There is an opportunity to develop many of these buildings to generate extra income through the sale and rent of new residential and commercial property above while retaining a new purpose built library and community hub on the ground floor in as many locations as possible.

Our amendment was rejected by the Conservatives demonstrating their lack of vision and disdain for residents who will, we hope, show their wrath on 2nd May.