THE locations where volunteers had offered to step forward and run libraries have been revealed.

Essex County Council said it had received 80 expressions of interest from groups willing to take on 39 libraries.

The groups came forward as part of original proposals which would have seen 25 libraries closed and of the 49 staying open, 19 could have been run by community groups.

None of the expressions of interest are binding and three groups - including one in Coggeshall - have already withdrawn their offers.

Now a Freedom of Information request has revealed where the expressions of interest were made. In a number of locations multiple groups came forward to say they would run libraries, and Tiptree saw the highest number of expressions with four.

Kelvedon, Coggeshall and Earls Colne all saw two offers made.

Hatfield Peverel, Thaxted, Wickham Bishops had one offer made for each area, however no groups came forward to make Silver End library community-led.

Bosses at County Hall have said no libraries will close after they performed a U-turn in July and instead will look to set up community-run libraries.

The proposal will see groups given a grant of £18,000 split across three years.

Campaign group Save Our Libraries Essex has called on community groups to withdraw their offers warning of the “impossible job” community groups would face. It accused libraries boss Susan Barker of “putting a gun to people’s heads” over the future of libraries.

The group has sent an information pack to parish and town councils across Essex.

A spokesman said: “The purpose of our information pack is to ensure every single parish or town council or community group thinking of volunteering to run a library, knows they no longer have to come forward as a last resort to save their library.

“Furthermore they should also be aware of what an impossible job they’d be taking on.”