CAMPAIGNERS organised a street party in bid to save their library from being run by volunteers.

The ‘love our library’ street party was organised on last Sunday in South Street, Manningtree, between 11am and 1pm.

Save Manningtree Library Action Group held the event as part of a county-wide action day over Essex County Council’s plans to create community-run libraries.

Holly Turner, of Save Manningtree Library Action Group, said: “It was a huge success, and around 250 people attended.

“It was busy all day long and loads of food was donated, which was all eaten.

“We have had face painting, live music, food stalls, street theatre, children were reading from books.

“Everybody was smiling for the whole day, it was wonderful.

“We don’t accept Essex County Council’s decision to close our libraries. Hopefully they will listen to us and we will carry on campaigning if they don’t.

“We are not going anywhere until we get the results we want.

“We want them to fully fund and staff our libraries.

“Community libraries, we know they are not sustainable at any level, they can’t deliver the service we need.”

Campaigners raised more money for the campaign on the day and also received 230 more signatures for the petition.

The action day comes after more than 1,600 people signed a petition against plans for volunteers to run many of the county’s libraries.

The council’s proposal will see groups given a grant of £18,000 split across three years.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “We know several ‘love your library’ or protest events happened outside some libraries at the weekend.

“We applaud the organisers’ passion for libraries and in July announced that no Essex libraries would be closing over the next five years.

“Instead, we are investing £3million into our library service and will be working with communities to improve it and make it sustainable.

“We wish to hear directly from communities who have ideas for increasing usage of their local library and urge anyone looking to support their local library, to join up, borrow books, come to the many activities that happen in libraries or volunteer to help out.”

To find out more about the Essex Future Libraries Services Strategy, visit