THE LEADER of Essex County Council has announced that there will be no closures of libraries in Harlow or in Essex.
The announcement was made by council leader David Finch at a council meeting in Chelmsford this morning (Tuesday).
The decision has been welcomed by all four of Harlow’s County Councillors, Cllrs Johnson, Souter, Hardware and Garnett.
A Harlow Conservative spokesperson said: “After meeting repeatedly with the Cabinet Member and the Leader of the Council, where Harlow’s County Councillors regularly expressed the importance of the Harlow Libraries and the depth of feeling for them in the community, during the 12-week consultation in which residents were asked what they thought of the library service and it’s buildings, it is marvellous news that today it has been announced that all of Harlow’s libraries will remain open.
The survey of residents was held by Essex County Council after it was revealed that book lending was dramatically declining year on year across the county.
A massive number of people (just over 20,000) across Essex replied, which shows that people love their libraries but also that some communities have reignited their love, with many communities offering to run the service and the buildings in the future.Cllr Eddie Johnson said: “I am delighted that the Leader met with us and we discussed the future of Harlow’s libraries and the need to understand the challenges it faces with new and emerging technologies such as e-books and music.”
Cllr Clive Souter added: “This consultation has revealed just how much people love the library service in Harlow and many people have rallied behind their local libraries and have a renewed energy for them to remain open. We will be working with the Harlow library team and other groups to see how we can use this passion to continue to improve out libraries and make best use of these marvellous local community buildings.”
Cllr Mike Hardware said: “Plans to invest millions of pounds are now being drawn up to ensure that all libraries keep pace with fast moving technologies, and as more and more people turn to e-books, apps and websites so Essex will look to bolster the service and be the go to brand for internet books, music as well as bringing in other organisations under one roof to help and assist residents.”
Cllr Michael Garnett concluded: “For those who wish to borrow books in the traditional way then this will of course continue, and the libraries will become more of a social place with a café society atmosphere and a one stop shop for other council services.
More reaction to follow.
Popularity: 2% [?]