Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, has defended two of his local libraries, in Hockley and Hullbridge respectively, which are under threat as part of Essex County Council’s (ECC) consultation on Future Library Services.
Mark has argued that both Hockley Library (currently earmarked for Tier 3) and Hullbridge Library, (currently earmarked for Tier 4 – or closure) should be saved and upgraded instead to Tier 2 status, which means that they would continue to be funded and operated by Essex County Council.
Mark pointed out that both libraries have received strong support from their local communities, as evidenced by local petitions, with 8,000 signatures. Mark said: “Many of my constituents are extremely upset by these proposals and, having visited both libraries last weekend, I have offered them my wholehearted support. I feel it is not credible for the council to seek to save less than £1 million a year by closing a third of the libraries across the County, when they have almost a quarter of a billion pounds in reserves.”