Actor Brian Blessed joins Surrey library campaign

Brian Blessed at Bagshot library protest Surrey resident Brian Blessed joined campaigners at Bagshot library

Related Stories

Brian Blessed is among celebrities to have backed a campaign to stop Surrey libraries losing paid staff.

Surrey Libraries Action Group said the actor and author, who lives in Surrey, joined campaigners at Bagshot library during protests on Saturday.

The campaigners have also received messages of support from Julia Donaldson, children's laureate, and children's author Alan Gibbons.

Surrey County Council has agreed plans for 10 community-run libraries.

'Library closures possible'

The council has said that allowing volunteers to run libraries is a move that is intended to keep all the county's 52 libraries open.

A spokesman for the campaign group said: "Brian turned up to lend his support to the campaign to save both Bagshot library and its librarians and he stayed for an hour, during which he read stories to the children present in the library."

Start Quote

It remains the aim of SCC that we do not close any libraries”

End Quote Cabinet agenda papers

But he added: "The only fly in the ointment of the day was hearing Surrey County Council's latest claim, in various news reports, that they intend to keep all 52 libraries open."

He said the plan agreed by cabinet on Tuesday included a commitment to discuss closing libraries if not enough library volunteers could be found.

Public value review

A report submitted to the cabinet meeting on Tuesday said it remained the council's aim to not close any libraries.

The report added: "Therefore following this cabinet meeting, if any libraries do not have a partner in place, the service will work in those local communities to try and establish a viable group so that library provision can be maintained.

"However, as set out in the paragraph above, if this is not possible, a decision about closure will need to be taken in December."

In a statement after Tuesday's cabinet meeting, 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.

The council said 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.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Surrey



Min. Night 1 °C


  • Kim Jong-ilKorean kidnap

    The film stars abducted by North Korea and forced to make movies

  • TabletFeeling flat

    Are tablets losing their appeal?

  • scarlett Johansson7 days quiz

    Did someone try to impersonate Scarlett on the red carpet?

  • Woman reading on subwayCover shots Watch

    The disappearing books of the New York city subway

  • llamasLlama drama

    Two unlikely fugitives go on the run in Arizona

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.