Library closures public meeting to be held

Library closures public meeting to be held

A public meeting regarding library closures will be held this Wednesday, 6th March, at the GPCA 7-8pm.

This is the third public meeting about library closures to take place in Harlow since Essex County Council’s Future Library Services consultation was launched in November. Under these plans Great Parndon, Tye Green and Mark Hall libraries are all under threat of closure, as it has been deemed unnecessary for library services to be provided in these locations.

Great Parndon Library has been defined as a tier three, which means that Essex County Council proposes for it to move from its current building and be community run, no longer staffed by librarians and with very limited book stock, no computers, no children’s section, and no access to the wider library borrowing service, ELAN. Both Mark Hall and Tye Green libraries would close completely under Essex County Council plans. Old Harlow and Harlow Central libraries would also see reduced services and more reliance on volunteers.

Save Our Libraries Essex campaigner, Emma Batrick, is part of the Harlow campaign and says: “I have been overwhelmed by the support from Harlow people to save our libraries and was proud to submit a petition of 1,667 signatures against closures to Essex County Council – over 30,000 people across Essex signed petitions.

“Our first two public meetings were a great success. We have heard from lots of people who wished to share how the library closures would impact them – from older people who see local libraries as their last shred of independence, teachers who rely on the libraries for school visits, and children who have discovered their love of books at their local libraries and grown to love their librarians.

“I would encourage anyone who is interested to come along to the public meeting on Wednesday. We will share more information on Essex County Council’s plans and what they will mean for each library. We would also love to hear from you and welcome you to join us in the fight to save libraries in Harlow and across Essex.

“I would also like to implore our four Essex County Councillors: Michael Hardware, Clive Souter, Edward Johnson and Mike Garnett to attend the special full council meeting which has been called on the 12th of March. It represents an opportunity to save the 45 libraries up for closure across Essex.

“I would also urge people to get in touch with their local councillors and express why they would like their local library saved and why the councillors should be representing their feelings, before libraries close and it’s too late.”

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