Colchester’s MP is calling for Essex County Council to save his library – by setting up a coffee shop alongside it.

Conservative Will Quince has voiced concerns over the proposed closure of Prettygate library.

It is one of 24 Essex libraries which could be axed unless the council receives a “suitable proposal from a community or partner organisation.”

Mr Quince, who lives in Prettygate, said: “Now I have contacted the leader of Essex County Council asking that other options be explored as there’s no central community facility in Prettygate nor is there a coffee shop or natural meeting place apart from the churches.

“I’ve got no doubt that a coffee shop alongside the library would prove really popular.

“This could significantly contribute towards the running costs of the library.

“It would also encourage greater use of the library itself through diversification of its appeal therefore removing a major reason for its possible closure.”

Mr Quince said the council, which says the closures could save it £2 million, should be taking a more “entrepreneurial” approach.

He said all options for running a coffee shop should be considered, whether it be undertaken by a franchise or a community group.

He said: “I’ve got real concerns that the closure of Prettygate library would have a detrimental impact upon our community.

“Prettygate library serves not just Prettygate but also Lexden and Shrub End and it’s regarded as a real community asset by local residents.”

Mr Quince said residents would be forced to drive to the town centre library and pay for parking. The dad-of-two also voiced his feelings on the importance of books for children and that Prettygate has a toy library which is an important resource.

Families also made a stand on Saturday by taking part in a book raid at the library where they maxed out their lending allowance. A public meeting is being held on January 17 at 7pm, at the Prettygate Pub.

A public consultation on the future of Essex libraries runs to February 20.

Have your say at or call 0345 603 7639.