I AM writing as a supporter of Save Our Libraries Essex which is a non-party political campaign group that welcomes support from anyone who will endorse its aims.

It aims are: wanting all libraries to remain open (with no further cuts); libraries being fully staffed by trained librarians (not volunteers) and also to see increased investment, to encourage more use and engagement.

Although I realise Colchester borough councillors have no power or control over Essex Libraries, I appreciate that many local people are outraged at Essex County Council’s proposal to close about 60 per cent of our Essex libraries including Prettygate, Stanway, Wivenhoe, West Mersea and Tiptree and wish to elect local councillors who share their views and will fight to keep these libraries open.

With this in mind, I emailed all the group leaders of the political parties that are fielding candidates in the forthcoming Colchester Council elections, plus the independent candidates, to ask them to endorse the above aims of Sole so the electorate know this when deciding to whom they should cast their vote on May 2.

Our feedback was that (in alphabetical order) the Green, Labour and Liberal Democratic Party manifestos all fully endorsed all the objectives of Sole.

The independent candidates who also fully supported the objectives were: Beverley Oxford, Christopher Lee and John Akker.

Carl Powling supported most of Sole's aims but favoured the use of volunteers as a last resort, which Sole does not, knowing it has not worked elsewhere in the country. I did not receive a reply from the Ukip candidate who was contacted via his Facebook page.

The Conservative Party group leader pointed out that all current Conservative councillors voted in favour of the Colchester Council motion (except Cllr John Jowers, who represents West Mersea and abstained) which asked for the suspension of the library consultation survey and halt closure plans to enable a meaningful dialogue to improve and enhance library services in the borough.

However, he did not comment Sole's aim, that libraries should be not be run by untrained volunteers but with qualified staff.

I would encourage everyone, who is eligible, to do their civic duty and use their vote on Thursday for whichever candidate they feel would best represent them on Colchester Council, especially as in many parts of the world, for some people, this democratic right is denied.

Jean Quinn

King Stephen Road, Colchester