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  • "This misses an important aspect of the cuts to library hours in Epping Forest – the complete loss of Sunday opening. There will no longer be a single library in the whole of Epping Forest open on a Sunday. For the many people who work away from Loughton during the day this effectively reduces the library to one day a week of accessible time – particularly given the lack of any evening opening. This is a huge reduction in service."
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EPPING FOREST: Cuts to library opening hours announced

CUTS to opening hours at some of the district's libraries have been announced.

Loughton Library in Traps Hill will close at 5pm on weekdays and Saturdays, rather than 7pm, when it currently shuts.

Epping Library in St Johns Road will close at 5.30pm on a Tuesday evening instead of its current closing time of 7pm and will be shut on Fridays, although it will open for an extra half hour on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Debden, Ongar, North Weald and Buckhurst Hill libraries will also have their opening hours slashed.

Nadine Holland, 35, of Roundmead Avenue, who visits Loughton Library after work, said: “It’s not very useful.

“If it wasn’t open in the evening, I’d have missed taking books back and had to pay a fine, so it’s very inconvenient.”

Vernon Madge, 76, who regularly travels from Chigwell to use the library, said: “I think it should be up to 8pm, which would be better than 7pm.”

Epping Library user Christine Eales, 57, of Bury Road, said: “I work part-time and I don’t really use it later, but my daughter does, as she works up in town and doesn’t get back until about 6.15pm.”

Essex County Council, which runs the district’s libraries, said it consulted 27,000 people across the county on the money-saving changes, which will come into effect on July 4.

A spokeswoman said: “In contrast to other parts of the country, no libraries in Essex are set to close.”

For full details of the changes, visit www.essex.gov.uk/libraries.

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