AS many as 25 of Essex’s 74 libraries look set for closure, it has been revealed.

Twenty-five libraries earmarked for closure include:

  • Fryerns, Basildon
  • Vange
  • Hatfield Peverel
  • Kelvedon
  • Prettygate, Colchester
  • Southminster
  • Wickham Bishops
  • Holland on Sea 
  • Sible Hedingham
  • Silver End
  • Broomfield
  • Danbury
  • Galleywood
  • Stock
  • Writtle
  • Buckhurst Hill
  • Chigwell
  • Debden
  • North Weald
  • Mark Hall, Harlow
  • Tye Green, Harlow
  • Great Wakering
  • Hullbridge
  • Stansted
  • Thaxted

Nineteen other libraries including Stanway, Tiptree, Wivenhoe, West Mersea, Walton, Brightlingsea, Manningtree and West Clacton also face closure within the next two years.

The council says it would save any of those 44 libraries if community groups are willing to step in to run them.

Remaining libraries would serve as “hubs” in main towns such as Colchester, Clacton and Basildon, and continue to be managed by the council but with opening hours cut to 40 per week.

Other, smaller libraries the council believes should stay open but would do so with “volunteer support” would open between 16 to 32 hours a week.

Many of these are currently open up to 50 hours a week.

READ MORE: Tory MP Will Quince calls on Tory council not to shut his local library

Consultation findings will be published and any changes proposed considered in June 2019.

Drop in sessions will be held at every library providing an opportunity to ask questions, complete the consultation and find out more.