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Featured News
Essex Libraries

28 July 2019

Following 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

There 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.

Read more from Essex Libraries on their strategy for the next five years.

LRA 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.