Education in general and reading in particular is only second to health in its importance in any socially developed society in my view.
Therefore, the decision of Essex County Council [ECC] to seriously consider closing the majority of locally based community libraries in this the town is very disturbing.
The format and criteria of their consultation on this important issue is based on a four tier appraisal structure with Mark Hall and Tye Green libraries rated in the third and fourth tier making them susceptible to closure.
However, Old Harlow Library, the smallest library in the town, is appraised in tier two of the structure making it, realistically, a clear candidate of staying open due in the main because it meets the set criteria which includes, inter alia, a measure of deprivation. I wonder if the three local Conservative councillors knew the Old Harlow area may suffer from an element of deprivation. Perhaps the project managers of ECC hadn’t visited the Tye Green, Mark Hall and indeed Staple Tye areas to evaluate their level of deprivation: I suspect not.
Indeed I just hope the assessment of Old Harlow didn’t include a political bias element because if it did then I would advise the residents’ of Mark Hall, Tye Green and Staple Tye to bring forward a Judicial Review hearing to hold ECC to account for their actions.
Finally, closing local libraries in this town is irresponsible and inhibits the development of every demographic group but in particular the young and should be a major concern for every parent in this town. I would urge all parents of young children to complete the ECC survey on this issue or express their views directly to their local Essex County councillor in an effort to save the library service in this town from closure.
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