Surrey

Surrey library campaigners stage demonstrations

Protesters fighting an overhaul of the library service in Surrey are staging demonstrations at libraries.

The Save Surrey Libraries campaign staged protests at local libraries on Saturday morning and outside Woking library in the afternoon.

This week, councillors agreed plans to change the service in a move that will see some facilities lose paid staff.

Surrey County Council said allowing communities to run libraries would keep all 52 sites open.

'Banners and flags'

The council said the 10 libraries that would be run by volunteers were Bagshot, Bramley, Byfleet, Ewell Court, Lingfield, New Haw, Stoneleigh, Tattenhams, Virginia Water, and Warlingham.

They will operate as a pilot in financial year 2012-13 so their success can be assessed.

The branches accounted for 7% of library visits countywide and ranked lowest in a league table of libraries as part of a public value review, the council added.

Campaigners, who have continued their fight, urged people to bring "voice, banners, flags and friends" to the protests at the weekend.

They were organising activities including card-making, painting, drawing and book-reading in support of local libraries and librarians, and were due to hold a rally outside Woking library at 14:00 BST.

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