COMMUNITIES are rallying together in an effort to save Manningtree Library from the looming threat of closure.

Manningtree Town Council is holding a joint meeting with Mistley Parish Council and Lawford Parish Council to discuss the Essex Library Strategy Consultation and specifically the future of Manningtree Library.

So far, more than 12,000 people have taken part in Essex County Council’s online consultation on the future of multiple libraries - including Manningtree’s - in the county which face the axe.

The meeting between the three councils is taking place on Friday, January 18 and the public is being urged to attend.

Ruth Stocks, Manningtree mayor, said: “We have district councillors coming and it’s really to discuss where we are at with the library and what the residents are hoping will happen as well as what the councillors are saying about it.

“All we know is that we don’t want to lose the library.

“It’s essential people complete the survey to get their views known.”

In addition to the county council’s online consultation, nearly 1,400 people have signed an online petition against the closure of Manningtree Library.

A further 2,500 people have signed the online petition to save Prettygate Library, and 400 have signed the Brightlingsea petition.

Martin Rayner, Mistley Parish Council’s chairman, said Essex County Council has got to make lots cuts and councils need to find a way to utilise the building to make money.

He said: “There is a strong disagreement across the board on the future of the library.

“I think we need to keep the library here because we have got a growing number of houses being built.

“We also have an elderly population who use it and youngsters who need it.”

Mr Rayner said there is also a concern about the carbon footprint which will be created if the library is closed as residents will have to travel to Clacton, Colchester or Harwich for the next nearest one.

He added: “We need this library, but it needs to be managed by Essex County Council as well as volunteers.”

Carlo Guglielmi, Essex County councillor who will attend the meeting, said: “The community needs to come together on this and the best thing would be for the three parishes to become one.

“If there is one council to lead the project then there needs to be the same financial involvement from the other two councils.

“It’s apparent the building cannot continue how it is.

“So I am looking at the public meeting as a fact finding opportunity.”

The meeting is taking place at 6.30pm in Foundry Court, Colchester Road, Manningtree.

Residents have until February 20 to complete the online consultation.

For details go to