Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock, visited Vange Library in Basildon last week following the announcement that it faces closure by Essex County Council after bring identified as ‘unaffordable’.
Essex County Council have identified Vange Library in Basildon as a ‘Tier 4’ library and plan to close it once public consultation is completed. In their Strategy the County Council have evaluated library sites using a criteria which weights the proximity of one library to another far more than the prevalence of social isolation in the local area (weighted at just 5%).
Stephen Metcalfe is concerned that this methodology has undervalued the important multifunctional role Vange Library has within the community, especially for the socially isolated.
Vange Library currently offers a wide range of community services such as: a Leisurely Ladies Book Club, a Work Club supporting those seeking work, computer provision, a hearing aid battery collection point and a Baby and Toddler Rhymetime club to support young parents.
Stephen said: “The closure of Vange Library would be such a loss to the local community, in an area already lacking community amenity spaces. I fear the elderly, unemployed and young parents who use its services will be the most effected.
I would strongly encourage residents to take part in the County Council’s Consultation Survey before it closes on the 20th February to ensure their voices are heard”.