CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Manningtree Library from the looming threat of closure have been backed by their MP who has thrown his weight behind their battle.

Harwich and north Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin met with a group of petitioners on in Estuary Wine Bar, in High Street, who are determined to secure the future of Manningtree Library.

The library is one of dozens across the county which faces closure within the next two years in a bid to save Essex County Council million of pounds.

Sir Bernard met with campaign leader Holly Turner and several other residents who are supporting her online petition to keep the library open.

Holly, of Norman Road, Manningtree said: "Local businesses are behind the drive to save the library as people come into town, go to the library and do some shopping.

"If we lose the library then the town centre will die."

She said the group told Sir Bernard over 20 activities operate out of Manningtree Library which is a lifeline to many in the battle against isolation and loneliness.

Sir Bernard said: "I am very concerned the library in Manningtree is under threat.

"It's a building of great history and it contains a museum and a whole lot of community activities take place there.

"It's also providing a vital service for people can don't have computers at home."

He said he was going to give the group support and hopes Essex County Council realises the building is a vital part of Manningtree.

"I think the group were a terrific bunch of people and I really commend their efforts,"he added.

Sir Bernard has asked the group to draw up a document challenging Essex County Council’s consultation on the future of several libraries in his constituency.

Holly's online petition to save Manningtree Library has been signed by more than 1,500 people to date.

Essex County Council’s consultation closes on February 20.

To sign the petition visit and search Save Manningtree Library.