THE locations where volunteers had offered to step forward and run libraries have been revealed.

Essex County Council said it had received 80 expressions of interest from groups willing to take on 39 libraries.

The groups came forward as part of original proposals which would have seen 25 libraries closed and of the 49 staying open, 19 could have been run by groups.

None of the expressions of interest are binding and three groups - including Coggeshall and Holland-on-Sea - have already withdrawn their offers.

Now a Freedom of Information request has revealed where the expressions of interest were made.

In a number of locations multiple groups came forward to say they would run libraries and Tiptree saw the highest number of expressions with four. Three groups made offers to run a library in Walton.

Stanway, Prettygate, Kelvedon, Coggeshall and Earls Colne all saw two offers made.

Brightlingsea, Frinton, Holland, Manningtree, West Mersea and Wivenhoe had one offer made for each area.

There were also expressions of interest for new libraries at Bradwell on Sea and the Sumners Estate in Harlow. 

Bosses at County Hall have said no libraries will close however, it will look to set up community-run libraries.

The proposal will see groups given a grant of £18,000 split across three years.

Campaign group Save Our Libraries Essex has called on community groups to withdraw their offers warning of the “impossible job” community groups would face.

The group has sent an information pack to parish and town councils across Essex.

A spokesman said: “SOLE will continue to urge any groups that have submitted bids to run libraries to withdraw those bids.

“Essex County Council has now said ‘no library will close’ for at least five years, so there is no need to take over the library service in order to save it.

“Groups should also remember that they won’t just have to fund the library, find all the volunteers, buy every book and pay every bill, they will also be expected to house the library. It is not their job to run a library. It is Essex County Council’s statutory duty.”

SOLE will stage a countywide day of action with events across Essex on September 28.