CAMPAIGNERS will descend on the streets of Essex for a week of marching against library cuts.

The socially distanced Essex March for Libraries event will start outside Manningtree Library on Saturday at 11am.

The march will finish the following Saturday outside County Hall in Chelmsford.

The march comes after Essex County Council moved to close 25 libraries and make others community run.

The council backtracked on its plan following protests from campaigners and pledged not to close any Essex libraries for five years and instead to inject £3 million into the service.

But, it still hopes to set up community-run libraries.

On the first day, the march is expected to reach Brightlingsea Library at about 5pm.

The first weekend’s campaigning will end with a rally outside Wivenhoe Library at 2pm on Sunday, with the second leg leaving Brightlingsea Library at 11am before going onto Colchester Library at about 4pm.

Library users from Mersea Library will also be joining the marchers from Brightlingsea via the ferry across from Mersea which departs at 10.15am.

The march will then continue via libraries including those at Prettygate, Stanway, Tiptree, Kelveldon and Coggeshall before marching on County Hall on Saturday, August 29.

Library users from across Essex will gather for the short final leg outside the Saracen’s Head at the top of Chelmsford’s High Street at 3pm before processing to County Hall.

A book baton will be carried from Manningtree to Chelmsford.

The book chosen is We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen.

Mr Rosen has been one of a number celebrity supporters attracted by campaign group Save Out Libraries Essex.

A SOLE spokesman said: “Last year there was a fantastic victory for people power when thousands protested and prevented the closure of a third of Essex’s libraries.

“However, many of our libraries, in particular the satellite libraries, remain in grave danger.

“People power won a vital victory last year, and it needs to so again to stop this act of cultural vandalism.”

Essex County Council has previously confirmed all libraries are safe and the authority said it is also investing in libraries and responding to the diverse ways people now access reading material.