Council plans for volunteer-run libraries in Surrey approved

Council plans for volunteer-run libraries in Surrey approved

Volunteers will take over the running of ten libraries in Surrey after the county council was able to push through its plans.

Earlier proposals to remove paid staff from libraries and replace them with volunteers were ruled unlawful, but the Conservative-run administration approved the plans after they were called-in to be reassessed.

Surrey Libraries Action Movement (SLAM), which has protested against the moves, said the decision was a "disappointment".

On their blog, they said: "Although the case to refer back seemed unanswerable, the politics of the situation was always going to play the last card."

The council plans were ruled unlawful at the High Court in April, after the council failed to show that volunteers would have sufficient equalities training.

But after further consultation, they claimed to have trained 300 volunteers, with more to follow.

Conservative councillor Helyn Clack, cabinet member for community services, told the BBC the scheme would enhance people’s lives, raise user numbers and keep libraries sustained.

The volunteer system is expected to be in place by next year.