Community plans to take over Silsden Library are moving ahead with the formation of a steering group

Community plans to take over Silsden Library are moving ahead with the formation of a steering group.

The hope is that the group will develop into an ‘accountable body’ able to take over responsibility for the library from Bradford Council.

Dozens of residents have already volunteered to staff the library, in the Silsden Town Hall, but there is a need for a body to officially manage the facility.

Around 15 local residents, including town councillors Rebecca Whitaker and Michael O’Dwyer, attended a meeting earlier this month to discuss setting up the accountable body.

Bradford Council officers outlined the responsibilities residents would have to take on.

Cllr Whitaker said about half a dozen people put themselves forward to join the steering group, and would probably meet again in a fortnight.

She said: “Out of that maybe some of the members of the steering group will come on to the accountable body. I think they’ve got someone willing to coordinate the volunteers.

“They’ve got the volunteers for the library but they can’t train them until there is an agreement between the accountable body and Bradford Council.”

“It was very productive meeting with Bradford Council and lots of good questions were asked.”

Bradford Council has inviting residents in several villages, including Silsden, and, to take on the running of their local libraries to save them from closure following public spending cuts.

The situation in Silsden is complicated because the library is in the Town Hall, which Bradford also hopes to hand over to the local community.

Town and district councillor Adrian Naylor this week warned that, through no fault of Silsden residents, the library transfer process was taking too long.

He added: “What we’ve seen is a series of meetings that have been pushed back and pushed back, and we now have approximately a month left.

“We should have been training people for several months.”

 

Posted in Facilities, Library

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