Will Stanford and Corringham libraries close? (Local councillor doesn’t mind as he isn’t up for re-election in 2018!)

A GAFFE-prone Thurrock Councillor may have the book thrown at him by his colleagues after an off the cuff remark about library closures.

Shadow education spokesperson, cllr James Halden was discussing savings to Thurrock libraries in a Children’s Services Committee.

With dire warnings over library closures and redundancies, the committee heard of a number of options in order to make up to £560,000 worth of cuts.

The meeting discussed a myriad of ways that libraries could "think smarter" including more use of kindles, varying opening hours,being absorbed into community hubs but the shadow of redundancies and closures for some of the libraries and their staff hung heavily.

However, chair Cllr Val Morris-Cook opined that it was likely that now specific decision would be made regarding closures as that would be "political suicide".

She then asked the Homesteads councillor: "Would you stand up between now and election day and say you would merge Stanford and Corringham libraries."

Cllr Halden, who was re-elected in May 2014 said: "Ah but I am back in so I have three-and-a -half years."

After the young councillor removed his foot from his mouth, he expressed concern that in late February, they would have to vote through a general budget, with £560,000 worth of cuts but without any specifics.

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