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Parents and children march against proposed library closure

Parents and children marched against the proposed closure of Coggeshall Library Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Parents and children marched against the proposed closure of Coggeshall Library Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

More than 70 parents and children have marched against the proposed closure of their town library.

Coggeshall Library is one of 74 being reviewed by Essex County Council, and has been categorised as tier three - meaning that if the community do not step up to fund and run it, it will be closed.

On Saturday, May 18, marchers met at Honywood School before walking to St Peter's Primary School and continuing to the library where they enjoyed some funny children's poems from poet and author Anne Boileau.

As a finale, the group surrounded the library to show their support for the service.

Independent councillor Tom Walsh, who organised the march, said: "The whole community will be worse off without the library - not just those who borrow books.

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"For many older people the library is a lifeline against social isolation and loneliness. For young adults it's a sanctuary to use for study, helping develop important life skills for their future."

Tracy Vickers, chairman of the Save Coggeshall Community Library Group, said: "Community-run just isn't a solution, it's the council pushing local community groups or parish councils to do their job for them.

"Community-run doesn't come with qualified staff, the building, or even the books. To us, that's not a library."

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: "The proposals we consulted on are about creating a 21st-century library service that is relevant to the way we live now and fit for the future.

"As well as plans to take library services out into communities, to embrace digital technology, and to retain a network of 30 council-run libraries across the county in tier one and two, we also want to support communities like Coggeshall to run community libraries in their own way in tier three.

"Over 21,000 responses to the official consultation were received and we have had an encouraging response from groups interesting in setting up community libraries.

"No decisions about any libraries have been made yet. After the full analysis of the survey results is completed, the final version of the Future Library Service Strategy will be presented to cabinet later this year."

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