History of Stoneleigh Community Library and the Surrey CPLs

This section of the website is planned to archive the various news items made during the long and tedious progress which brought about the community partnered libraries in Surrey. At present it is merely a dumping ground for odds and ends from elsewhere on this website, but eventually will be tidied into a more coherent summary.


 25th June 2014: Fully Volunteer Run - Finally!

Although it was originally intended that full volunteer running would commence from our 16th February "Opening Day", this did not in fact happen due to a legal glitch with the building lease. Until this was resolved the library officially remained in in the hands of SCC staff. However on the 25th June 2014 the lease was finally signed and the Friend's of Stoneleigh Library volunteers were now completely in charge of running the library.


New signs in a nice shade of blue were installed on 14th July 2014 to emphasise that the library was now a community run venture run by volunteers, but also with the continued support and backing of Surrey Library Services.


16th February 2013: Start of Volunteer's Helping in the Library

From 16th February 2013 Stoneleigh Library remained open as a Surrey County Council staffed library, using rotating "bank" staff, however there was also a full complement of FSL volunteers present, fulfilling all library duties and continuing some ongoing training.
16th February 2013: The Official "Opening Day"

Stoneleigh Community Library opens its doors with a special opening event and furtheractivities during the following week.


Ribbon Cutting

Some of the Team at Opening Event














 Opening Event Poster







Saturday 16th February 2013




Please Note: The library will be closed for two weeks (Monday 4th to Friday 15th Fenruary) prior to opening to allow for interior updating.



Saturday 25th November 2012

We now have the date of Saturday 16th February 2013 for opening as a community partnered library.  The library will be shut the preceeding Monday to Friday for interior updating.



Saturday 29th September 2012

The Community Partnered Library scheme appears to be moving forward, and it seems that SCC is aiming to move all ten libraries involved to volunteer running by the end of March 2013, however Stoneleigh is now likely to be one of the last to change and is not expected to become volunteer run until Feb/Mar 2013. Further details are in the Chairperson's report for September 2012, which may be found with other documents for the Core Group meeting on 2nd October, under "About Friends of Stoneleigh Library" link to the left.


Thursday 16th. August 2012 15:55

The SCC Communities Select Committe has today reviewed the Commuinity Partnered Library decision made on the 24th July, and decided not to refer this back to the SCC caninet for reconsideration. This means that the CPL initiative will proceed as the council originally planned, ahthough a bit later than first envisaged.



Wednesday 1st. August 2012

The decision of the cabinet re. the Community Partnered Libraries has been called in for review by the Communities Commitee



Tuesday 24th. July 2012 15:55

SCC Cabinet Meeting has just unanimously agreed recommendations to proceed with the Community Partnered Libraries. As with other recent council communication on this issue, there was considerable support for the idea that the CPLs can greatly expand their services into the community over the next few years and provide much added value that a council run small library could not do. As an example it was mentioned that one library has plans for Sunday opening using their volunteers. The issue of savings didn't seem to be fully addressed, but strong insinuations were made as to future restrictions on public finances and the future sustainability of the smaller libraries as council run libraries. Between the words seemed to be the implication that these libraries would have been closed at some time in the future without the CPL initiative moving forward.



A couple of news links are here:

BBC News - Surrey Article

Surrey County Council News


Helyn Clack/Lee Godfrey Interview on BBC Radio Surrey on iPlayer


BBC Radio Surrey "Surrey Breakfast With Nick Wallis" (Time Into Program 1:41:20-1:48:20)

A spot about the Surrey Libraries including interview with Lee Godfrey, from SLAM, and Helyn Clack, SCC Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games. Although brief this includes some good questioning and is worth listening to.

Helyn Clack: "... the costs that will come out of the CPLs around the staffing will be reinvested into the service..."


The SLAM Instant Twitter Response:

"SCC retake library decision. Policy completely unchanged despite very many outstanding issues. Here we go again!"


I think many of us hope however that  this will not be "here we go again" but rather this time the CPLs can just get on with all the good work that is being planned. The thought of further legal action is just too horrifying to contemplate !




Friday 14th. July 2012

Three papers for the next Surrey County Council Cabinet meeting to be held on the 24th July - all concerning the Community Partnered Libraries - are now available on the SCC website. For convenience links to these papers are below:



Papers For SCC Cabinet meeting to be held on Tuesday 24/07/2012. Item 6

"Public Value Review: Surrey Library Service - Community Partnered Libraries"


ITEM 06 "PVR Surrey Library Service Community Partnered Libraries.pdf"



ITEM 06 "Appendix 1 Libraries Equalities Survey report final.pdf"



ITEM 06 "Appendix 2 CPL ETA Final.pdff"


These PDFs files can be found by entering their names into your favourite search engine (e.g. Google)


This is a 130 page PDF file entitled "Addresssing Inequalities" which will open in a new browser tab or window.


Thursday 12th. July 2012

Below is a letter that Diana Kay, Chair of the Friends of Stoneleigh Library, is sending to David McNulty, Chief Exec of Surrey County Council, re. current concerns over the Community Partnered Library program:

FofSL Chair Letter To SCC Chief Executive 

(Click to to open this PDF file in a new browser tab or browser window)



Wednesday 24th. April 2012

At a Surrey County Council Cabinet meeting today a question was asked by Hazel Watson (Member for Dorking Hills) about the library plans, and the following is a rough transcript of the verbal reply given by David Hodge (Council Leader):


“Surrey County Council will take a decision on the libraries plans again, following a judicial review. Earlier this month Mr Justice Wilkie upheld a technical challenge over a decision to create ten community run libraries staffed by volunteers, although he did not criticise the policy itself. With that in mind the council has decided to bring the proposals back to a cabinet meeting on the 19th June, when it will consider all the work that has already been done to develop a comprehensive training package for volunteers. In the weeks leading up to that meeting the council will carry out further consultations about equalities training for volunteers at community libraries. Our aim all along is to keep the fifty-two libraries of Surrey open, whilst elsewhere in the country many branches are being closed. Our policy allows the community to run libraries to enable us to do this and it is also our council policy. The judge said that although the council has done a lot of work to develop equalities training the High Court ruled that there should have been more detail about it in the cabinet papers about it at the meeting in September last. The judge recognised that the county council has got excellent equalities and diversities processes within the organisation and did not criticise them at any stage; on the contrary he thought they were very good. What we are going to do now is to bring this back to the June meeting. The matter was due to go back to court in May as part of the judicial review however the council has carefully considered Mr Justice Wilkie’s judgement and feels it is not in the best interests of the library-goers or the taxpayer to return to court. The council’s lawyers will now work on the wording of a legal agreement called a consent order with the solicitors acting for the claimants who brought the judicial review against the council. In his judgement earlier this month Mr Justice Willkie did not criticise the proposal for community partnered libraries or the various consultations that have been carried out by this council. However he did uphold a small technical challenge that the cabinet should have more information in front of it about the work that the council had already done to develop equalities training for volunteers when it made its decision in September”.


Tuesday 3rd. April 2012

A judgement has been issued for the judicial review concerning the Surrey library reorganisation, but it seem that things remain somewhat inconclusive, and a further hearing is scheduled for May to determine the way forward.


Surrey County Council have issued the following press release




and the judgement itself is here:


Judicial Review Decision










Wednesday 21th March 2012

A couple of links for those of you interested in the latest on the judicial review:


BBC News Report on Surrey Judicial Review:




A link to the parliamentary select committee enquiry  is here:




Tuesday 20th March 2012

The judicial review of the council's plan's for library reorganisation was concluded today, but any decision has been deferred until next week.






Monday 20th February 2012 - Friends of Stoneleigh Library Trustee Statement

Following a meeting to discuss the recent legal events affecting the Surrey Library's reorgnaisation, the trustees of the Friends of Stoneleigh Library have issued the following statement:


Friends of Stoneleigh Library have been  very encouraged by the response of local people who have come forward to offer to volunteer to help at Stoneleigh Library . We have conducted a series of group interviews for prospective volunteers and have been delighted with the calibre, skills and enthusiasm of those who have attended. This has been an opportunity for local people to come together and work to develop something they are really care about - a local library service, accessible to all.


Friends of Stoneleigh Library now await the findings of the Judicial Review into Surrey County Council’s plans for the library service with interest and will continue to support Stoneleigh Library in whatever way is needed to ensure that Stoneleigh Library continues as a vibrant and lively resource in the heart of the local community.


Tuesday 14th February 2012

The new self service machine has been installed which allows loans, renewals, etc, and also those nasty fine payments ! Also a nice bit of carpet which smells very new. The library staff have re-arranged things around the old front desk area; The entry counter remains, but the exit one has now gone and the old exit passage has been removed, making room for a slight increase in size of the children's library area. Some interesting folders showing views of the library before and after this reorganisation, and also posters for past events that have taken place - these actually take up several folders reflecting the immense efforts library staff have put into keeping us entertained over the past years. It is appreciated!


Thursday 9th February 2012

The judicial review of the council's plan's for library reorganisation has been rescheduled for 19th/20th March Since the current injunction restrains the council from setting up any new community partnerships, this has resulted in the proposed opening date of 19th March for Stoneleigh Community Library being delayed.


Friday 3rd February 2012

 From a Surrey Councy Council Press Release:

'The High Court today upheld an earlier decision to impose a temporary order which stops the authority from taking any ‘irrevocable action’ towards creating community libraries ahead of a judicial review of the council’s plans."'


The full statement can be found here: [This will open a new browser window or browser tab]



Monday 16th January 2012

It is planned that Stoneleigh Community Library will open as a volunteer run library on Monday 19th March 2012,

after shutting for one week to allow time for volunteer training and familiarisation.