Three libraries desperate to stay open are appealing for volunteers as Surrey County Council continues its plans to replace full time staff with volunteers.

Ewell Court, Stoneleigh and Tattenhams are three of 10 Surrey libraries which will be handed over to volunteers next year.

Last month Councillor David Hodge, leader of Surrey County Council, announced an end to ‘phase two’ of the council’s plans which could have seen a further nine libraries turned over to volunteers.

Coun Hodge also gave a ‘guarantee’ that an experienced member of the council’s library team would be present in all community-led libraries for at least 20 per cent of their opening hours.

Diana Kay, chair of the Friends of Stoneleigh Library charged with recruiting volunteers, said: “Obviously we are pleased about the fact that they are offering additional support and it seems that it will be an ongoing commitment.

“We want to work together with library services and the partnership so that should be a good thing.

“We have now got 65 or so people who have come forward following our meeting, but there is still room for people to come forward.

“I think it could be a positive opportunity for the community to get more involved with the library.”

However at Ewell Court, the Friends of Ewell Court Library are convinced the library will not survive unless overseen by a paid professional.

The group has planned to have 16 core volunteers supplemented by a pool of 40 volunteers.

Jackie Forrest, chair of the Friends of Ewell Court Library, said: “Having met our volunteers there is a really strong sense of wanting to do our utmost to keep Ewell Court Library open, but we know we will have to keep constant fundraising activities going and a constant supply of volunteers will be needed. “It is a huge effort and still full of risk. “The council are fully aware of the possibility of such schemes failing in the long run.”

Tattenhams Community Library group has been established to keep their library open with 40 people so far coming forward to volunteer out of a target of 50.

Residents Association Councillor for Banstead West and trustee at the library, Nicholas Harrison said: “We have certainly found it quite challenging to plan to take over and run the library on our own but after two public meetings we have had a very favourable response.

“We are very confident that we can take over and run the library on our own with the help of the central library service.

"We are hoping to open the library for one more day from four to five days.”

All libraries will be formally handed over in March next year.

The council will continue to run 42 of 52 county libraries with professional paid staff.

For more information and to volunteers at your library contact:- • Stoneleigh Library - Email, visit, or pick up an application form from the library.

• Tattenhams - Email, or visit • Ewell Court - Contact Jackie Forrest on 0208 394 1675 or leave a message in the library to be forwarded onto us.