A PETITION to save a community library has been launched.

Essex County Council has earmarked Prettygate library in Colchester for closure by 2024.

It is one of 25 Essex libraries facing the chop in a council reorganisation of the service which will save it around £2million a year.

The council says any of the libraries could stay open so long as community members are willing to run them.

Other libraries across Colchester and Tendring face closure within two years unless volunteers are willing to run them, or will have reduced opening times.

READ MORE: Essex County Council will close these libraries unless communities save them

The petition was launched on change.org by Thomas Berry yesterday.

Some 425 people have already signed it, with many stating their reasons.

Katie Grieg wrote: “I use this library with my children every week.

"All three of them love reading and would be massively affected if we didn’t have this resource.”

Julie Chapman wrote: “Prettygate library is there for all ages - babies to the elderly – and is a part of the local community.

“The summer reading scheme plays a great part in encouraging children to develop a love of reading too.

“Three generations of my family use the library so please don’t allow it to close.”

But Sue Lissimore, Conservative cabinet member for culture and communities on Essex County Council – and a Colchester Councillor for Prettygate ward - would not say that closure was the wrong thing for the library.

She said: “There is a big difference between closing the library building and using library services.

“If we are not using the building like we have in the past it is important to find out what residents want so we can move forward with building something for the community that it wants.

“We could keep the building and create a new community building, Essex County Council could sell the building and develop it.”

READ MORE: Tory MP calls for his local library to be saved

Mrs Lissimore said the library had no accessible toilets, baby changing facilities or a café which could all be included in any new building.

All 74 of the county’s libraries will be reviewed later this month after the authority said traditional library use has “collapsed” in the past ten years.

About 800 people work at the county’s libraries - which annually cost £11 million to run.

Job losses have not been ruled out.

The council says its vision at the remaining libraries, is for an online service.

The council will begin a 12-week public consultation on November 29 and the findings will be published in June.

Drop-in sessions will be held at every library or visit essex.gov.uk/librariesconsultation.