A BID calling for a review of a decision which could see some libraries run by volunteers has been defeated.

Revised plans for the future of Essex’s libraries were approved last month after a storm of protest.

Opposition councillors called in the decision and outlined 16 reasons why they were unhappy with the outcome.

But the committee tasked with scrutinising the decision voted to uphold the adoption of the plan.

Council leader David Finch told the meeting: “We are clear we are only going to want to work with community groups that can provide an efficient and sustainable library service, whether it is run by volunteers or not.

“By harnessing the talents of the individual we can make sure communities have a thriving library, a library that is not based on the dogma of the 1950s but meets the needs of the people in Essex.”

Mr Finch said the council wanted to create a library service “fit for the 21st century not the 19th century”.

He added: “The budget for libraries for 2019/20 increased by £1.1million. In addition what we have committed to do is invest £3 million on our libraries because we want to be one of those councils that is actually seeing our libraries grow, adapt and prosper in their communities.”

Under the proposals, the council has promised no libraries will close in the next five years.

The original proposals would have seen 25 libraries closed and of the 49 staying open, 19 could have been run by community groups.

It is understood there were 80 expressions of interest from groups willing to take on 39 libraries.

None of the expressions of interest are binding and this week three groups withdrew their offers.