CONCERNED residents fear Southminster Library may be lost for good as it remains closed after more than two months.

The library, on Queenborough Road, was originally closed in January due to heating issues. It was due to reopen on Friday, but that date has passed and the library is still shut.

Residents are worried about the future of the historic building.

Doreen Sims, of Station Road, Southminster, is one of those concerned the village may lose its library.

She said: “I use the library quite a lot, or at least I did before it closed a while back.

“It was a heating issue to begin with I believe, but that has been going on for more than two months now, and you would have thought something could have been done to fix it in that time.

“I have a real fear it may not re-open, and if it doesn’t I worry we may have lost it for good.”

Mrs Sims said the library was a “real cornerstone” of Southminster.

She said: “It would be a huge shame to lose it. It is important to a lot of people down here.”

While the library has been closed a mobile library has been brought in on Saturday afternoons between 10am and noon, and the library in Burnham has extended its opening hours to try and accommodate those displaced from Southminster.

However, Doreen believes the social side is just as important as the access to the books.

She added: “That has been hugely helpful to many and I know many residents do appreciate it. But, the problem lies with the building itself I feel.

“It is a nice hub for people to meet, deliberately or not.

“I have called in to the library a few times when I am feeling a bit lonely because you never know who you might bump into.

“I struggle to get to Burnham so that doesn’t really help me personally, and the mobile library is there for such a short period.”

A spokesman for Essex County Council confirmed the library would remain closed in the short-term.

He added: “In the meantime, a mobile library is continuing to visit the library’s car park on Saturdays between 10am and 2pm.

“Burnham-on-Crouch Library is also offering extended opening hours every Monday and Wednesday.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”