THE leader of Oxfordshire County Council has been put on the spot by his own constituents over shutting their local library.

Keith Mitchell, who represents the Bloxham division that includes Adderbury, was told people were unsure how they could take over the village’s library if the county council withdrew its funding.

Twenty libraries across the county are proposed to close to save £2m towards £155m cuts the council has to make by 2015.

Under the proposals communities will be asked if volunteers want to come forward to take over the facilities.

People in Adderbury want to save their library but told Mr Mitchell at a meeting on Wednesday they were confused over how much it would cost them.

Until the meeting Friends Of the Community of Adderbury Library (FOCAL), believed it would cost in the region of £47,000 a year to run the library.

But residents had also been told if they wanted to buy into the library service, access the county book stock, receive training, it could cost at least another £20,000.

Meeting chairman Nick Fennell said: “I find it difficult to write a business plan when we don’t know how much money we’ve got to cover.”

Mr Mitchell pledged to put pressure on officers at County Hall to send information out by the end of February.

Mr Mitchell said he had written to Bodicote and Bloxham parish councils to ask for help towards funding the library.

And he said there was a pot of cash totalling £600,000 available to help set up community libraries across the county.

In a show of hands almost every single person at the meeting agreed to pay at least £1 per month on the parish council precept to fund the libraries.

But Jackie Head, of Adderbury, said: “It’s a phenomenal amount of money we are being asked to raise and I don’t know how a village of this size is going to do it.”

Villagers claim the library is the hub of the community, and was used by people from 17 surrounding villages.

But Mr Mitchell told residents the only way to keep the library was for local people to take over its running.

He said: “Sadly, Adderbury is on the list of 20 and the current proposal is to cease funding towards the end of December 2011.

“The budget will be set on February 15, and assuming that happens, there will start a consultation about libraries and about how we implement the cuts over four years.”

About 150 people packed out the public meeting at Christopher Rawlings School.