HUNDREDS of people hit the streets of Chelmsford to protest against proposed closures of 60 per cent of Essex libraries.

The ‘Carnival for Libraries’ saw more than 600 people march on County Hall in Chelmsford on Saturday, June 8.

It follows a demonstration in February which saw around a thousand people march through Chelmsford to protest library cuts, which have been dubbed an “act of cultural “vandalism”.

It is believed a decision on the future of the county’s libraries may be made at the Essex County Council cabinet meeting on July 23, where protesters will gather outside the County Hall at 9am. The campaign has received backing from celebrities including, David Walliams and author, Jaqueline Wilson.

Following the protest, several supporters ended up in a nearby pub in the city centre while community spirit was still high. It was there that young campaigner,11-year-old, Josefine Backman, delivered a powerful speech detailing just how important our libraries are to the children of Essex, who in her words “are the future”.

Andy Abbot, Save Our Libraries Essex (SOLE), said: “There was definitely a buzz around Chelmsford. Josefine delivered a great speech - children are on the front line of this. It’s about education - this is another cut to what’s going on in education. There are appalling cuts in our schools at the moment.

“It’s dreadful what we’re doing to young people and we need to be better as a society. It’s destroying who we are as people and destroying our culture.

“Of course we should have libraries. The idea of running libraries voluntarily is not going to work.”