Essex County Council has pledged to keep all libraries open and at the ‘heart of communities’ ahead of a consultation.

The county council says the current administration sees the development of library services as a priority.

In August of last year, campaign group Save Our Libraries Essex marched 60 miles in protest of plans for some libraries to become volunteer-run.

The group was launched in response to proposals to close 25 libraries, forcing a county council U-turn.

Cllr Lousie McKinlay, deputy leader and cabinet member for communities, said: “I want to see libraries at the heart of our communities. That is why we plan to invest in, enhance and protect the library service.”

Council bosses say Essex is aiming to “enhance and upgrade” the library service and have pledged that “all libraries in Essex will remain open”.

Residents have been invited to two online sessions on Monday, September 20 to discuss their views.

Cllr Mckinlay added: “It is really important that we engage with our residents on the key principles driving the strategy. I would like to hear from residents who are current library users but also from people who are not presently using the service, so we can better understand what they want from the service.

“All feedback and suggestions will be taken on board. This really is an opportunity for residents to help mould the future of our library service.”

Residents wishing to attend the sessions can register their interest via the following links. They will then be contacted by email with full joining instructions prior to the event they have registered for:

Morning session 11:30-12:30, September 20:

Evening session 18:00-19:00, September 20: