The community has a gun to its head over future library plans, according to the opposition group at Surrey County Council (SCC).

Molesey library has been given a reprieve in cabinet council papers, but there is still a cloud hanging over Hersham.

The progress update from a public value review of Surrey’s libraries is due to be discussed on September 27, and has already been met with fierce criticism from the Liberal Democrats.

The report recommends transferring the management of 19 libraries, including Hersham, to the community, while maintaining some under council management.

The report suggests establishing community partnered libraries, run by volunteers, was “cutting edge” and put SCC at the forefront of localism.

However, a decision about their closure will be needed if people do not come forward to run the libraries, putting Hersham in the firing line.

Liberal Democrat communities spokesman Councillor John Orrick said: “Surrey Conservatives have finally come clean about their plans to force even more local communities to take over the council’s responsibilities.

“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.

“The report highlights that there are many unresolved issues in the county’s proposals, as a result communities can’t complete business plans when they don’t know the financial basis upon which they will be operating.”

Originally 10 libraries were under threat, including Molesey, which has now been removed from the list.

The latest report identifies Hersham among a further nine libraries that will switch to community management in April 2013, once the model for the original 10 has been in place for a year.

Hersham library was revamped in May 2010 and next year celebrates its 50th year in its current building.

Roy Green, chairman of Hersham Village Society said: “We deserve a proper library, not one run by volunteers. We’ve had to fight to keep it open three times in the last 20 years and we’re fed up of Surrey trying to shut it down.

“It’s a valuable asset for the community and I know the people will fight hard to keep it going.”

Susan Mealor, secretary of voluntary group Friends of Hersham Library, said no members came forward as willing to run the library.

She said: “It would be a disaster if we lost Hersham library. For elderly people, it’s their only access to the internet. I went to Peru and was able to go to an internet cafe there.

“If the library closes, it will mean the Peruvian jungle has better internet access than Hersham.”

Walton, Cobham, Esher, Molesey, Dittons and Weybridge will maintain longer hours and trained staff under council management.

David Hodge, deputy leader of SCC, said it was a unique opportunity and he was confident none of Surrey's 52 libraries would be forced to close because volunteers would rush forward, having already registered an interest. He said: "We need to take the shackles off the lcoal community and let them start running their own community."