Council set to decide on second round of funding for Basildon’s libraries

The Housing and Communities Committee is considering funding of £8,000 for new books for Basildon’s libraries to help create a borough where everyone prospers – more than doubling the council’s recent £5,000 library boost.

Following the success of the £5,000 agreed last year which provided more than 700 books for libraries across the borough, the new proposal will be considered by the committee tomorrow, 10 March.

The new proposal includes an additional £5,000 for new books to be distributed to the borough’s libraries.

The possible funding could also help under-represented role models shape more children’s perspectives, with the committee considering a £1,000 portion (of the £8,000 total) for buying children’s books featuring Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) protagonists.

As part of the £8,000 fund the council will also vote on whether or not to agree on £1,000 for books specifically for Wickford library and £1,000 for books specifically for Billericay library.

Chairman of the Committee, councillor Kerry Smith, said: “Last summer my committee agreed to provide funding of £5,000 to Essex County Council for the provision of books in libraries located in Basildon Borough – and it has worked spectacularly well.

“Given the success of this initiative in providing the most popular books in the borough’s libraries, we want to provide more support for our libraries and for reading.

“A new writer could be born in Basildon from reading in our libraries, and the joy of reading is something that we all should be able to experience without worrying about access to books.”

The council will publish its decision live online at on Tuesday March 10 from 7:00pm..

Mick Ferris

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