THE locations where volunteers 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None of the expressions of interest are binding and three groups have already withdrawn their offers.

Now a Freedom of Information request has revealed where the expressions of interest were made.

Multiple groups came forward to say they would run libraries and Tiptree saw the highest number of expressions of interest, with four.

A further three groups made offers to run a library in Danbury and two for a library in Southminster.

Bradwell and Witham both had one offer each made by volunteers.

Bosses at County Hall have said no libraries will close, however, it will still 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 (Sole) 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, not only having to fully staff and run the library with little or no support, but house it as well.

“We urge any group that has submitted an expression of interest to withdraw it.”

Sole will stage a countywide day of action with events across Essex on Saturday, September 28.