ILKLEY'S MP John Grogan has moved to reassure residents over the future of Ilkley Library and defended Bradford Council who face making cuts of £30.7million over the next two years.

Plans to cut the budget will now face public consultation after being approved by the authority's executive group last week.

The proposed cuts would see £7.1m saved in 2018/2019 and £23.6m in 2019/20.

Services including street cleaning, libraries, and museums and galleries are set to be among the hardest hit, with the savings resulting in the potential loss of 153 jobs.

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley) has expressed fears over the possible closure of Ilkley Library, a move which, if true, she described as " appalling kick in the teeth."

However, Mr Grogan has told the Ilkley Gazette, he understands it is the council's intention to keep open all flagship Ilkley buildings, including the library.

He said: "There is no doubt that Bradford Council has been forced to cut services to the bone over the last seven years. By 2020 the Government have confirmed that they will halt all revenue grant funding for Bradford. In 2013/14 the Council received £183 million in Revenue Support Grant from the Government and it drops to zero in 2020/2021.

"Since 2010 Bradford Council have reduced their spending by £256 million. In this year’s budget councillors are faced with a new gap of £7.1 million for 2018/19, and another £23.6 million gap in 2019/20. Despite this dire picture from the discussions I have had with leading councillors and officers in recent weeks I understand it is the council’s intention to do all they can to keep open the flagship Ilkley buildings including the Library, the Ilkley Pool and Lido and the King’s Hall and Winter Gardens.

"The next round of cuts for libraries I believe takes place in 2019/20 and it is possible there may need to be more use of volunteers to supplement paid staff but Bradford are committed to do everything possible to continue to run Ilkley Library. I think they given their financial plight the Council are not doing a bad job in the town - carrying out their statutory functions particularly for the young and the elderly and concentrating also on keeping the ‘crown jewels’ of the town up and running.

"At the same time they have sought help where needed from the Parish Council and voluntary groups to keep open the public toilets, visitor information centre and Ilkley Manor House. In addition let’s not forget that Bradford Council has organised in the coming years investment of nearly £5million for building works at Ilkley Grammar School alongside an expansion of places at All Saints C of E Primary School."