Save South Benfleet Library

Events about the ECC Consultation on this library's future.

South Benfleet Library
Phil Coley

A number of events and opportunities exist for Benfleet residents to make their opinion known about the proposed closing of the South Benfleet Library and service.

Make Your Voice Heard

ECC have made it very clear that the important step anybody in Benfleet can take is to fill in the on-line Library Survey. They estimate it will take about 25 minutes to complete. Doing so  shows your commitment to the Library Service regardless of what you actually say and if a large number of people reply it informs the ECC about the strength of opinion in Benfleet. You can download independent guidance on completing the survey and make your voice heard.

The ECC will consider all responses to prepare a summary for consideration by the Essex Cabinet in Summer 2019 to agree the next steps. The section you want to get to is Section 19 where you can enter up to 3,000 characters about what you think about the proposals through a small letterbox entry area. A top tip is to write out in advance what you want to say in this area and copy it in.

Other ways of completing the survey

If you want to complete a paper survey then go to your library and order one from the Enquiry Desk. One will then be sent to you through the post complete with a postage paid reply envelope.

You can also download an Easy Read strategy and survey questionnaire.

If you would prefer to do the survey over the phone, please call 0345 603 7639.

Official On-Line Petition

In addition on the Essex County Council site there is an official on-line petition service with a specific petition for South Benfleet Library. If enough people sign this it will be considered as part of the consultation.

Display a Poster

You can also show support for the issue by downloading, printing a displaying a small poster, which says “Save Benfleet Library. Complete the ECC Survey”.

Independent Information Event Report

A report on this event is here.

Castle Point Registration Office

Cllr Barker, the ECC Cabinet Member responsible for Libraries also holds the portfolio for the ECC Registration Services for Births, Deaths and Marriages. The Castle Point Registrars office is located at South Benfleet Library, which means it will close if the Library is shut.

Christine Coley has checked the ECC website and there are currently 17 Registration Offices in Essex of which 14 are located in libraries. Of these 13 are in Tier 1 or Tier  2 libraries so will remain open. Only one is in a Tier 3 and that is Benfleet.

If the plan to close the building goes ahead then Castle Point will be the only Borough/District in Essex which does not have a Registration Office for Births, Deaths or Marriages. The Library Closure Consultation paperwork has been checked and there is nothing on this issue in it.

Background to ECC Consultation

Essex Libraries are consulting about revising the Library Service in Essex. Under the proposals the three libraries  in mainland Castle Point are all designated Tier 3. This means that the County Library service will eventually cease in Benfleet, Hadleigh and Tarpots within 12 months or so unless volunteers can be found to raise money to fund new premises and run the services themselves.

It has been made clear that all three buildings used by the current libraries will not be available and that these will go into the ECC property pool for redevelopment. Any Community Libraries will need to find and pay for a completely new set of properties.

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