Surrey County Council has approved plans to staff 10 libraries across Surrey with volunteers rather than trained staff, despite vocal opposition from councillors and residents.

The cabinet met on Tuesday, September 27, to discuss the plans which will see the introduction of community led partnerships to run libraries in place of professional staff.

The mobile library service is also being axed, with the lease on library vehicles running out on October 28.

All but one Conservative cabinet member voted in favour of the plans despite vocal opposition from the public gallery with shouts calling for the resignation of cabinet members.

The council hopes to save £300,000 a year from the scheme which will affect Ewell Court, Stoneleigh and Tattenham libraries.

However opposition councillors believe alternative solutions have not been fully explored.

Residents Association Councillor and Surrey County Councillor for Epsom and Ewell North, Eber Kington, said: "What they are saying is the alternative is closure or community partnerships, but there is another option they have never fully considered, that we retain professional staff in all libraries, whilst seeking increased voluntary support across all 52 libraries in the county."

The plans will now be subject to review returning to the committee panel before a final decision is made.

Leader of the Epsom Conservatives, Councillor Darren Dale, and a trustee of Stoneleigh library, said: "I would prefer them to carry on the libraries as they are, however we anticipated them going ahead with the scheme and all we can do is ensure that the libraries that are under threat are staffed by the best volunteers and move forward so that libraries do not close."

Councillor Hazel Watson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said: "The decision is a disgrace, it is being done in the name of the Big Society, but support for it is invisible. "The plans are being pushed through to save face in front of massive public opposition."

If the volunteer scheme, the council could extend the scheme to nine further libraries across the county.

A protest by SLAM (Surrey Library Action Group) is due to take place outside Ewell Court and Stoneleigh libraries at 10.30am on Saturday, October 1, with a further protest outside County Hall at 11am.