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Essex libraries saved after public protests

In the UK, Essex county council has dropped its plan to close 25 libraries, following months of protests from locals and support from authors including David Walliams and Jacqueline Wilson, reports the Guardian.

Of the 74 libraries in Essex County, the Tory-controlled council had proposed shutting 25, handing 19 to community organisations and running 15 in a partnership. The council blamed a slump in use for the proposed cuts, claiming loans have halved in the past 10 years and that fewer than a fifth of residents use the service.

Locals have led multiple rallies over the past few months, more than 60,000 people signed 56 petitions and more than 21,000 responses were made to the council’s public consultation in support of the libraries being kept open.

The council announced it will invest £3 million (A$5.33m) into the service to make it ‘fit for the 21st century’ and said there would be no library closures for five years.

 

Category: Library news International

 

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