Closure threat looms over Calderdale's library buildings

Bailiff Bridge Library.
Bailiff Bridge Library.

Calderdale Council cannot afford to keep all library buildings but remains committed to keeping services in communities and is looking at other ways of doing it.

READ MORE: Future of Calderdale libraries to be reviewed in bid to meet budget savings
Cabinet were considering options after a review of library services and having ruled out closing 15 smaller community libraries agreed to ask officers to come back with more in-depth information about two other alternatives.

In 2019-20 library services have to save £130,000 out of a £1.5 million budget split across Halifax Central Library, hub libraries at Brighouse, Elland, Hebden Bridge, King Cross, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden, and 15 community libraries.

Two options to make the savings at community library level will now be explored in more detail. The first concerns three which are housed in buildings which are not sustainable at Bailiff Bridge, Beechwood Road in Halifax and at Walsden. It is estimated it will cost around £600,000 to bring them up to reasonable standard – including £500,000 at Bailiff Bridge. Likely options include keeping services but housing them in other community buildings.

Officers have also been asked to explore how services could be relocated in a similar way at Greetland, Mixenden, Mytholmroyd, Skircoat and Northowram.

Coun Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden), Cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said the council faced financial challenges and some changes had to be made. “In future we want to provide a good quality service right across Calderdale,” she said. “One thing we absolutely have ruled out is the closure of our community libraries.”