Basildon Council has welcomed news today that Essex County Council has confirmed that no libraries will close in the next five years.

Instead Essex County Council has said its Cabinet will consider a new strategy on 23 July focusing on:

  • developing an investment plan to improve libraries
  • working with and support community groups or other partners to set up community run libraries, with the aim of ensuring a library service is retained in every current location.

"This is great news for our borough. I'm glad county councillors have recognised the strength of feeling across communities in Essex and that common sense has prevailed," said Councillor Gavin Callaghan, Leader of Basildon Council.

"One of the first things I did after becoming Leader of the Council was to have an urgent meeting with County Council Leader David Finch where I made it absolutely clear we would not accept closure of libraries in Vange and Fryerns.

"I congratulate everyone who made their voices heard and spoke up in support of our libraries. But it's not the end of the story - we need to see the detail in the promised strategy. We will need to work hard to ensure libraries at Vange and Fryerns are saved for good and that they get a fair share of the investment promised."

Ends.

Published on Tuesday 9 July 2019