R4U welcomes new public consultation on libaries after Essex County Council U-turn

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) welcomes Essex County Council’s U-turn on libraries following pressure from residents, and its new commitment to keep all of the Essex libraries open and staffed by ECC-funded staff, and urges residents to respond the ECC’s latest consultation.

Paul Gadd (R4U) Paul Gadd (R4U)

R4U’s ECC Saffron Walden division councillor Paul Gadd said “Residents will remember ECC’s proposals in 2018 to shut down many of the libraries in Essex; those proposals would have resulted in 2 of the 4 libraries in Uttlesford, in Stansted and in Thaxted, being closed, and the other 2 libraries, in Great Dunmow and Saffron Walden, being cut back. R4U councillors were heavily involved in the residents’ campaigns to stop these closures and we are delighted that ECC has reconsidered its plans.”

Martin Foley (R4U) Martin Foley (R4U)

R4U’s ECC Thaxted division councillor Martin Foley said “The proposed closure of Thaxted library would have been particularly heavily felt here, and so I welcome ECC’s new draft library plan. We haven’t yet had a chance to go through the new plan in detail, but the commitment to retain all our libraries comes as a great relief.”

Cllr Foley continued “ECC are consulting on their new library plan. The consultation is open from 26 November to 21 January 2022, and can be found at libraries.essex.gov.uk/everyoneslibrary. I would urge residents to take part.”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties. R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In the May 2019 R4U took majority control of UDC by gaining two-thirds of the seats. Since then it has set about re-engineering the now award-winning council operates, rebuilding the finances and fixing how planning is done. In 2021 the party won half the Essex County Council seats in Uttlesford district.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.