THE future of Ilkley Library is uncertain after Bradford Council announced plans to slash its library services budget by £950,000.

A further £1million is proposed to be cut from street cleaning and public toilets, as part of plans by the Council to cut a further £30million from its budget in the two years to 2020, leading to more than 150 potential redundancies.

Bradford Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe confirmed the changes on Monday as the authority updated its proposed financial plans following the Chancellor’s budget last week.

The biggest savings in 2018-19 are set to come from cuts to street cleaning, libraries, and museums and galleries, with the closure of some sites “not ruled out”.

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ilkley, Ind) said she has been warned to expect the closure of all libraries in the district, expect for the facility in Bradford city centre. "If this is a fact it is an appalling kick in teeth," said Cllr Hawkesworth. "There has been no indication that the core library structure was under danger. The expectation has always been that Ilkley would remain the focus for the valley. If this is not going to be the case warning and preparation time should have been built in."

Last year, Cllr Hinchcliffe unveiled a four-year outline budget including plans to slash £82m from Council accounts by 2020, with an aim to ensure the authority is sustainable when Revenue Support Grants from the Government end.

In 2013-14, the Council received £183m via that funding stream but the figure will drop to zero in 2020-21.

Cllr Hinchcliffe said that due to “rising demand for services and rising costs”, the authority had been forced to re-visit its plans to find new savings.

“As a Council, since 2010 we’ve reduced our spending by £256m,” she said.

“In this year’s budget, we are faced with a new gap of £7.1m for 2018-19, and another £23.6m gap in 2019-20.

“We’ve tried to prevent compulsory redundancies since the Government’s austerity programme started, however in recent years redundancies have become unavoidable.

“This year again there will have to be job losses. 153 new job losses are outlined in the proposals published today.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe and Stuart McKinnon-Evans, the authority’s strategic director - corporate services, did not confirm which Council departments would be affected by the potential job losses, but said that “extensive consultations” with staff involved would start immediately.

The biggest proposed saving for 2018-19 is a further cut to street cleaning and public toilets, with the service set to lose more than £1m. Library services will be slashed by £950,000, with the museum and galleries budget set to be reduced by £260,000.

Asked about the closure of any library or museum sites, Cllr Hinchcliffe said: “That is a last resort obviously.

“We are reviewing how we can run services and take costs out. We can’t rule out having to close some services if it gets that far.”

Discussing Council Tax, Cllr Hinchliffe said that, as indicated in February, the authority had “no choice” but to raise the tax by 1.99 per cent and implement the social care levy by the Government’s stated maximum of three per cent.

She said: “If we were not to do this we would have to save another £8.8m, cutting deeper and sooner into those services that we call value.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe also used the budget briefing to announce details of three new investment strands - costing a total of £750,000 - set to begin in April next year.

Focusing on housebuilding and development, the growth of more business premises, and a new asset investment strategy, Council officers will be tasked with replenishing the authority’s investment over a five-year period, bringing in additional income to spend on Council services.

The budget proposals will be discussed by the Council’s Executive group on December 5 before going out to public consultation until January 28.