Priti calls for solutions to keep libraries open
The Witham MP, Priti Patel, has written to the Leader of Essex County Council, Cllr David Finch, to press the Council to work with local communities to keep all the libraries in the Witham constituency open. Last year, the Council began a consultation process on proposals which could have led to seven out of the eight libraries within the Witham constituency closing, unless community management options were developed.
Local communities were asked to submit expressions of interest in community management and the Council is due to make a decision this summer. Priti, who has been in contact with local campaign groups wanting to save their libraries and has been lobbying the Council since it published its consultation, said:
“Our local libraries are widely supported and the responses to the consultation show how much local communities want to keep their libraries open. Although the library service must change to meet modern needs, the initial proposals went too far. I have held constructive discussions with Essex County Council and I am working with them to bring forward solutions that enable libraries to stay open with greater community involvement.”
“In my meetings and discussions with campaigners, there is a strong appetite amongst them to see Essex County Council adopt a more flexible approach. As the Council gets closer to making its decision on the next steps, it must focus on developing solutions with local communities to keep our libraries open, relevant and innovative rather than shutting them down.”