Essex County Council pledged ‘No library closures’. 

'Changes to library opening times and the mobile library service will be made to make savings, but the council has pledged not to close any libraries.’ This promise was made back in 2011. 

In 2016, the Essex County Council leader boasted, “We have an excellent record in making savings, more than £520 million has already been taken out of the council’s budget, and I am confident that we are well positioned to meet this challenge head on.’ We disagree with this statement and believe that these brutal cuts have damaged communities in Essex.

The County Council knew they were facing an additional 84% cut in Government support grant funding up to 2020, from £118 million to £18 million. Local councillors have remained quiet throughout this whole process and have acquiesced to the demands of County Council attacks upon our services, which include cuts to local children’s centres, services to disabled and people with special needs and social care. Now faced with local outcry at the betrayal of promises made in earlier years, our Tory councillors are expressing mild objection in order to save their local council seats. 

They also know that in the next year, we will see even further cuts to library services, parks, open spaces and other local services. 

Labour is the ONLY credible opposition that can fight these savage cuts.




We are absolutely appalled by the decision of Local Conservative County Councillors to vote against the Labour motion to keep the Libraries of Essex open.

Conservative County Councillor Reeves stated at a recent protest at Hadleigh Library that she would do all she could to keep the library open.  Yet  she voted AGAINST the Labour motion to keep our libraries open.

Conservative County Councillor Sheldon stated in his 2018 election address that he is "not afraid of speaking up if something is wrong and I know how to get things done." , yet he too voted AGAINST the Labour motion to keep our libraries open.

When he did speak up it was to criticise the calling of the extraordinary council meeting, saying that it was only called because there was an election coming.


The reality is it was called because a massive 57,000 people signed petitions to keep the libraries open.

Yet again the Conservative priority is to put party first and the people second


The proposed closure of our local libraries is a measure of the callous disregard and contempt that this Conservative ruled County Council has for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.  The loss of Tarpots, South Benfleet and Hadleigh libraries will have an immeasurable cost to the quality of life for many disabled, housebound, older members of our community, who rely upon the services offered by  both paid and volunteers workers who deliver and collect books to and from the homes of those who are unable to access this service in person.  
  • ·Did the Tory County Council think that we, as a community would stand by and lose this service forever?
  • ·Did they think that our community would tolerate this injustice?
  • ·Did they think our community would not fight with everything in our means to stop this despicable and unnecessary cut?
Say NO to  more cuts and say NO
to the closure of our libraries.
Join the fight and support
Save Our Libraries Essex protests.





Libraries at the heart of local communities are to be slashed and burned. The Tory government has doggedly pursued their miopic and destructive austerity programme of ever increasing cuts, which have negatively impacted, disproportionately, upon the less fortunate members of society.
Cuts to services for the disabled, cuts to services for older members who rely upon social care, cuts to children’s services and many other outreach community services.
And now our libraries are to be cut. 

The valiant efforts of SOLE (Save Our Libraries Essex ) to rally support for a community wide protest was inspiring. A well attended public meeting was held on Monday 18th March  It was encouraging to hear that local councillors have sent a strongly worded letter expressing their opposition - yet it was lacking content that no libraries should be closed!  Sadly, words are not enough and local residents demand action.  Many felt outraged by comments made by councillors who failed to take action. 
Conservative Councillor Sheldon claimed he voted against saving the libraries because he was angry that a meeting had been called by the opposition, at the expense of tax payers, so he voted against an amendment to cuts that would have left out libraries. 
Spurious additional reasons were mentioned, to the dismay of many in the room. Another of the councillors who is supposedly opposed  to closures, appears to suggest that he is a realist and will have to make a difficult decision. Seems for all the words spoken, action will be limited to a letter. Come on. 

Councillors sitting in that room formed action groups against Greenbelt development are now limited to a letter. 
It appears that they are applying double standards and picking the most lucrative fight for a vote. If our local council hadn’t squandered over a million pounds, with more to come on a failed local plan, perhaps they would not be crying crocodile tears over the library closures.