Thousands of residents are to lose their local libraries as councillors voted unanimously to close SEVEN yesterday.

Closing are Langney, Mayfield, Ore, Pevensey Bay, Polegate, Ringmer and Willingdon as well as the mobile library service.

They will all disappear on May 5.

The Tory-controlled East Sussex County Council says it has no choice because it must save millions of pounds.

But Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, said: “Every library is unique and this has never been truer than with Langney.

“It has 6,000 members and 40,000 people visited in 2017, which I think demonstrates the relevance of the library to the local community.

“There are areas of disadvantage in this part of town and the library provides vital access to computers for people seeking employment.

“Without it, life will be even more difficult for local people.”

The council claims the new offering includes an enhanced, modern eLibrary, a new children and young people’s provision to support literacy and numeracy within children’s centres and increased outreach work in the most disadvantaged communities.

But Keira Boniface, Head Girl at Polegate School, spoke in support of Polegate Library and said: “The children from Polegate school love visiting and making use of the library.

“I have five siblings and sometimes use the library for some time for myself.

“Don’t shut the door on a whole world and experiences we can only read about.”

Councillor Bill Bentley, Lead Member for Communities and Safety, told the meeting there would be a new community membership and a teachers’ membership scheme opening up new opportunities and increased resources, releasing pressure on school budgets.

Nick Skelton, East Sussex County Council assistant director of communities, said: “Closing libraries is not a decision we take lightly and I can understand the feelings of people in the affected communities.

“We considered very carefully all of the views people put forward about our proposals and we recognise there are individuals in every community with needs the library service can support.

“However, faced with unprecedented levels of cuts in Government funding, we have to prioritise our resources towards areas with the highest levels of need.”