Thanks to a large campaign of activists and authors, a plan to close up to twenty-five libraries in Essex has come to an end.
A conservative-led council proposed budget cuts that would lead to the closure of 25 of Essex’s 74 libraries, as well as another 34 being handed off to private companies. This led to several protest marches in Galleywood and Chelmsford as well as several petitions gathering almost 60,000 signatures.
This biggest movement was during the council’s public consultation, which received 21,000 responses criticizing the council for the decision. Several authors also lent their support, such as Michael Rosen, AL Kennedy and David Baddiel.
Council leader David Finch announced the reversal along with a 3 million pound investment in libraries over the next five years.
Council members applauded the protestors on their effort to save their libraries:
“Our future libraries strategy has changed drastically due to what the people of Essex told us. I am delighted that the consultation ignited such passion for keeping the service alive. We assured everyone that their feedback would be taken into account, and it has – all our libraries now have a future.”
It’s great to see a group of people so passionate about reading to save their beloved bookstores.
Featured Image Via BBC