a great deal of public and political pressure, the leader of the County
Council has said that all 74 libraries would remain open for at least
five years, so that includes Debden, Buckhurst Hill, and Chigwell. LRA
Cllr Chris Pond (who had "led the charge" from within the County
Council against this highly unpopular policy) was interviewed on the
Dave Monck programme on BBC Essex about the climbdown. Read the BBC news article
was a significant response to the Council’s Libraries consultation with
over 21,000 responses, over 1,000 letters and over 50 petitions
received. Respondents made it clear that libraries are not just about
books or computers – but that they are spaces too for people to meet,
learn and exchange ideas.
The Council’s new strategy will focus on two key elements: • 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.
believes that including Debden Library in the Epping Forest College
building was a serious mistake by the Council, and would like to see it
move to a site on The Broadway. However so far the District Council,
which owns the shops on The Broadway, has refused to make a shop
available for this.
Loughton Library itself is under threat of
demolition and replacement by a smaller library under a block of flats.
LRA Cllr Chris Pond has called in this decision as he has serious
concerns about the adequacy of the replacement facilities, and how the
service would be provided in a 2-year construction project, quite apart
from loss of the present building.