Plans to turn 11 libraries in Surrey into volunteer-run services are back on track.

At a meeting on Monday, February 28, the Conservative cabinet at Surrey County Council decided to press ahead with plans to give local communities an ultimatum of running libraries themselves to prevent them from closing down.

But the decision, which will affect Molesey Library, has angered opposition councillors, after the cabinet decided to ignore a recommendation from SCC’s Safer and Stronger Communities Committee to put the plans on hold until pending further consultation.

SCC’s Lib Dem leader, Councillor Hazel Watson, said: “The Conservative Cabinet has failed to listen to the many local residents who have raised their concerns. They have ignored the wishes and needs of local communities.

“[The Conservative cabinet] can’t even make up their mind whether the plans are about saving money or about being part of the ‘Big Society’, which is not surprising as very little money will be saved, and it is impossible to see how services will improve.

“They are palming off their responsibilities to local people, rather than providing the services they should be running.”

The plans, which officers said would save the council £1m a year, will give libraries six months to organise volunteers or face closure.

Conservative Councillor Tim Hall defended the plans, saying: “We will consult with communities and see what they come back with.

“These are some of the smallest libraries in the borough and they are declining so we need to do something.”