THE budget for Bradford’s libraries is due to be slashed by almost £1million in the next 12 months.

Although all the Council-run libraries in the district will remain open, including Ilkley Library, staff are likely to bear the brunt of cuts, with a raft of job losses expected.

In the 2018/2020 financial year, Bradford Council plans to cut around £950,000 from its libraries budget. The following year, a further £1,050,000 is expected to be slashed from the budget. Overall, it means the service’s budget will fall from £3,120,900 this current financial year to £1,120,900 by 2020/2021 - a drop of over 65 per cent in just two years.

The Council will be holding a series of public events to discuss the cuts over the coming week and the issue is also being discussed by the authority’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee next Tuesday.

A report to the committee says coming up with proposals for the library service’s future in light of the huge Council cuts has been ‘very challenging’.

Central government cuts mean Bradford Council is looking to make £13.5million in savings for 2019/2020, with a further £19.9million needed in 2020/2021.

The proposals include developing the existing libraries in Shipley, Keighley and the City Centre to become ‘community hubs’ offering a wider range of Council and community sector services. The hubs will become a focal point for local activities and services, and the facilities will be accessible to the local community with more of a focus on ‘multi-purpose’ use.

There are no current proposals to change the provision and number of Council run and Community Managed Libraries across the district.

So that people can find out about the proposals for the Libraries Service a number of events have been planned including one on Friday, January 18 at 6pm at Ilkley Library.

The Council has also said it aims to retain all four of the current museums and galleries its runs; Cliffe Castle, Cartwright Hall, the Bradford Industrial Museum and Bolling Hall. In order to retain all four museums and galleries it is proposed that public opening hours at the Bradford Industrial Museum and Bolling Hall will be reduced. It also proposes increased commercial opportunities will be developed across the Museums and Galleries service. Further efficiencies have been identified through the merger of the Libraries and Museums and Galleries Services.