A MARCH on the council's County Hall in Chelmsford will take place this weekend.

The march, which is expected to be one of the biggest demonstrations the county has seen in decades, is in protest against Essex County Council's proposal to close many libraries across Essex.

Mid Essex Secondary Headteachers (MESH) are supporting Saturday's march (February 9) against these closures.

Mr Tom Coen, headteacher at Saint John Payne Catholic School in Chelmsford, will be addressing protesters at the event, reading a statement out on behalf of all headteachers in the mid Essex area who are also opposing the council's plans.

Assembling outside the Saracen's Head in the High Street at noon, the march will take a circular route before rallying at the Essex County Council headquarters.

Various local authors will also be attending the event, including the writing duo 'Nicci French'. Although the couple are from Suffolk, they have ties to Essex, so will be supporting the march.

Joining them at the protest will be a group of students from St Michael's Junior School in Galleywood, along with a UNISON representative, which is the union representing library staff.

Headteacher, Tom Coen said: "Access to information is essential for young people to develop skills such as enquiry, analysis, reason, judgement, reflection and insight.

"It is equally fundamental to their ability to express themselves in an assured, confident and informed manner.

"We believe that the closure of libraries will be hugely detrimental to these principles, and we firmly endorse efforts to ensure that these centres of learning and education remain an available resource for the young people of our county."

Mr Coen will also be writing to all parents at Saint John Payne Catholic School expressing support for the protest.