THE council leader behind library and youth centre cuts has warned petitions and protests are unlikely to have an impact.

Oxfordshire County Council leader Keith Mitchell said in a statement: “I fear petitions and protests will not be effective, because, as Liam Byrne – an ex-minister in the Labour government – said in his leaving note: ‘The money is all spent!’”

The Conservative-run authority announced plans on Friday to withdraw funding for 20 libraries and 20 youth centres to save £6.2m-a-year. It called for volunteers to run libraires instead.

Adderbury Library, in Mr Mitchell’s Bloxham division, is among those in jeopardy.

He said: “I am greatly saddened that Adderbury is in the list for cessation of funding. I know villagers who use the library will be saddened and angry at news of its loss of funding.

“What we need now is a Big Society to demonstrate their support for local village services by offering to support them.”

But Labour group leader Liz Brighouse said: “The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous. We should not be making these cuts.

“The Government should be raising taxes, taxing the banks to make the money up.”