I APPEAL to the cabinet at Essex County Council to vote against proposed library cuts.

We have a very strange situation here in Essex regarding our libraries.

On one hand, our Conservative Government is telling us we need to accept huge amounts of housing growth and we will need more employment opportunities and services to go along with this growth.

On the other hand, Tory- dominated Essex County Council is proposing massive cuts to our libraries, either by closing them or by having them run by volunteers instead of professional staff.

The two things simply don’t go together.

We understand the library services may need to evolve and they may, for example, need to link in more with some of the work being done by local councils to help strengthen communities and combat issues such as social isolation.

But this will require the support of Essex County Council to continue, rather than to be cut.

There is also the issue of sustainability to consider.

Increasing numbers of people are now trying to make more environmentally- friendly choices.

Borrowing rather than buying books fits in perfectly with this trend, as does having a local library that you can reach by foot or by bike.

This is therefore an appeal to Essex County Council’s cabinet to revisit their library cuts strategy.

We need them to continue with the same level of support for all of our local libraries and to get creative and explore the hugely positive potential they hold for our communities.

The decision on the future of Essex libraries is due to be made very soon.

If you want to help, please write to James Brokenshire, MP and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Essex County Council cabinet members; get in contact with your local library working group or Save our Libraries Essex to complete its surveys.

Jenny Sandum Green Party district councillor for Kelvedon and Feering