Plans for volunteers to take control of Molesey library could be scrapped.
Earlier this year, the county council decided to invite local community groups to take over the day-to-day running of 11 libraries in Surrey – including Molesey’s.
Now, members of the county council’s decision-making cabinet are being recommended to withdraw Molesey library from the proposals.
Should they agree to do so at a meeting on September 27, the facility would continue to be run by the authority as part of a County Managed Network.
For the remaining 10 libraries on the list, cabinet members are being recommended to proceed with a pilot “community partnership” scheme.
These are the branches in Bagshot, Bramley, Byfleet, Ewell Court, Lingfield, New Haw, Stoneleigh, Tattenhams, Virginia Water and Warlingham.
Under the proposals, the county council would continue to provide the library buildings, stock and other resources.
Volunteers, meanwhile, would take over the day-to-day running of the facilities.
According to a report to be considered at the meeting, for any library where no community partnership is established “a decision about closure will need to be taken in December”.
The report also states that nine libraries – including Hersham’s – are not currently identified as potential community partnerships or within the proposed managed network.
It is being proposed that Surrey County Council continue to fully support the service provision at these locations for now.
Cabinet members are also being recommended to agree that no further libraries be considered for inclusion within the community partnership scheme until the pilot has been in existence for a full year from April 1, 2012 and its success has been evaluated.
David Hodge, the deputy leader of the Tory-led council, said: “Our aim is to keep all of Surrey’s 52 libraries open but we need residents’ help to achieve this.
“Our plans mean we can focus resources on continuing to run more popular libraries while investing in the latest technologies to make them better.
“Community groups have responded to this opportunity and come up with some excellent ideas for running local libraries already, proving local people can provide the best solutions for their communities.”
But Surrey’s Liberal Democrats have spoken out against community-run library proposals.
The party’s communities spokesman, John Orrick, said: “These local communities have a gun against their head, either take over running the library or Conservative SCC will close it.
"Liberal Democrats have fought against these ill thought out plans from the start and many local community groups have lobbied the Conservative administration to scrap them."