Like many in our community, the Parish Council was concerned to learn about the Essex Libraries consultation document which seems to indicate the potential closure of our library at some point in the future, along with other Essex libraries.
The current position as far as the Parish Council is concerned is that Essex County Council has agreed to enter into a minimum 10-year lease with the Parish Council for the library section of our new building at Crafton Green. The Heads of Terms for the lease were agreed by both parties back in 2013. We have held regular meetings with Library officers over the last few months to go over the details and have received no indication that this will not progress. At the same time, we have received requests from Essex for sight of the draft lease that can only be signed once the building is ready for occupation. That lease is currently with solicitors for checking. Rest assured that we will fight robustly for the County Council to honour its commitment which has been agreed for many years. As we write, we are awaiting a date for a meeting with the Cabinet Member for Libraries to ensure their agreement is upheld to occupy the library area of “The Exchange” and clarify the situation.
Our new building – The Mountfitchet Exchange – is progressing with the “first fix” well underway. We have encountered some “technical issues” beyond our control which mean that the building will now be ready for occupation in February.