A councillor who has continuously campaigned to keep Buckhurst Hill Library open has expressed her happiness following today’s news that all Essex libraries will not close.

Conservative County Cllr Valerie Metcalfe of Buckhurst Hill and Loughton South, has been determined the Queens Road library remained after conducting a direct intervention.

Last year Essex County Council’s David Finch unveiled plans to close 25 libraries across the county before announcing a five-year delay this morning.

Speaking about the announcement, Cllr Metcalfe, said: “I am delighted that the Leader met with me and we discussed the future of our local library while completely understanding the challenges it faces with new and emerging technologies such as e-books and music.

“The consultation also revealed how people have rallied behind their local library and have a renewed energy for it to remain open.

“I will be working with our local library team, the Parish Council and the community generally to see how we can take on responsibility and adapt our building uniquely for the local community.”

After meeting with the Leader of the Council where Cllr Metcalfe expressed the importance of the library and held a 12-week public consultation.

Residents were asked what they thought of the library service and its buildings, in which the survey revealed that book lending was dramatically declining.

Many people in Buckhurst Hill responded to the consultation, with volunteers offering to run the service and the building in the future.

The council received over 21,000 responses, over 1000 letters and over 50 petitions during the consultation period with residents expressing their outrage at the closures.

The new strategy is to focus on two key elements; developing an investment plan to improve libraries and support community groups or other partners to set up community run libraries.

Of the 49 which would remain, 19 could be staffed and run by community groups if volunteers come forward.