The High Court has issued an injunction against Surrey County Council over its plans to turn 10 libraries over to volunteers.

The court order was issued by the Hon Mr Justice Wyn Williams on Friday, January 20, ordering that SCC should ‘take no irrevocable steps towards implementing the Community Partnered Libraries (CPLs) decision impugned in these proceedings until further order of this court’.

The decision comes after campaign group, Surrey Libraries Action Movement (SLAM), launched legal action against the council challenging the legality of its decision making process and lack of consultation.

While the council initially rejected their claims saying they were too late to launch legal action, the group went ahead and lodged legal proceedings on Tuesday, January 17, with an injunction issued just three days later.

A spokesperson for SLAM said: "We heard on Friday that the judge had assessed the case and awarded the injunction. So we were very pleased about that.

"We see an early injunction as a sign that the judge considers the case favourably and the judicial view maybe expedited which will happen sooner which will be good for everyone.

"The court order says that no irrevocable steps should be taken so that’s open to interpretation. So whether that means you can still recruit volunteers I don’t know.

"We are suggesting an increased number of volunteers are used but alongside paid staff.

"There’s been doubt all along about what we should do but now we have had this injunction so quickly everyone is feeling very positive."

The council now has two weeks to present its evidence to the High Court before a decision on whether a judicial review will take place to determine if SCC acted properly when pushing through their plans to put 10 libraries across Surrey, including Ewell Court, Stoneleigh and Tattenhams, in the hands of volunteers.

The council has agreed to provide the initial training and support for volunteers and a member of staff for 20 per cent of their opening hours.