A total of 30,000 angry residents have signed petitions against plans to close a number of libraries.

Protests have been held by Save Our Libraries Essex campaign group.

The total number of signatures presented to Essex County Council surpasses the number required for a debate at full council on the matter.

SOLE said: "We have had a thousand people march through the county town. Thousands more have joined protests across the county. And this huge number of signatures - at least 30,000 - has been collected. In fact we know of other petitions whose organisers couldn't join us today, which means the true number is probably nearer 50 or 60,000. It sends a message loud and clear to Essex County Council. The people of Essex are against this act of cultural vandalism. Our libraries must stay open."