Women and young people will be disproportionally hit by library cuts across Essex, the county council has been told as it warns around of third its libraries could close.

Essex County Council has announced the potential closure of 25 of the 74 libraries operating across the county affecting every district.

Another 19 are at risk of closure if they cannot be run by the community or other partners with support from the council.

But councillor Susan Barker, the cabinet member in charge of implementing the potential changes, was told in a meeting today that the plans would disproportionately impact women and children first.

Councillor Julie Young said: “Looking at the demographics and usage. These cuts disproportionally impact women and children, children centre cuts disproportionally affect women and children.

“In the year that we celebrated 100 years of women getting the vote I wonder why this administration always put women and children in the front line when cuts come.”

Councillor Barker said: “We are not delivering what the public wants at the moment.

“That is why they are not in our libraries.

“It’s about making it a better environment so people do want to come in there.

“I have visited all 74 libraries, there were a few that were busy and vibrant but they were few and far between.

“It’s not where people want to be.”

The council has now agreed that the draft strategy and needs assessment report is publicly consulted on for a 12 week period from November 29 to February 20, 2019.