Bradford’s four community-run libraries are bucking the trend by doubling their visitor numbers, a meeting heard.

The libraries, in Addingham, Denholme, Wilsden and Wrose, were taken over by volunteers in 2011 after being threatened with closure.

These libraries, and others which have been moved into other public buildings to save overheads costs, were hailed as success stories at a meeting of the Regeneration and Culture Overview and Scrutiny Committee last night.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe (Lab, Windhill and Wrose), executive member for culture, said: “At Wrose community library, it has been a revelation, actually, about how hard these volunteers have worked.”

But committee members were concerned about plans to axe the mobile library service, under the Council’s latest budget proposals.

Committee chairman Councillor Andrew Mallinson (Con, Craven) said: “The mobile service is providing cover for the areas where there are no public libraries.

“My fear is you have got more vulnerable communities in outlying areas that will end up with no service whatsoever.”

And Councillor David Heseltine (Con, Bingley) said even though their visits were short, mobile libraries still served an important social function, particularly for “isolated and vulnerable people”.

He said: “That quarter of an hour or 20 minutes, that might be the only social activity that person gets.”

Coun Hinchcliffe said: “I’m not saying we can get rid of that service because it is not valuable.

“It is valuable, but it is just one of those difficult decisions we have to make.”

As part of an ongoing review into the district’s libraries service, an external consultant has been commissioned by Bradford Council to look at how effective and efficient each of the district’s libraries are.

This has resulted in a league table of the best and worst performers being drawn up – with Keighley, Eccleshill and Manningham at the top and Silsden, Great Horton and Queensbury at the bottom.

The meeting also heard about the grand opening planned for the new City Library in Centenary Square - the replacement to the Central Library, which was found to be a fire risk.

The City Library will open on December 9 with a week-long programme of events.

The West Yorkshire Archive Service and local studies department will remain at the old Central Library, the meeting heard, while the City Library will become the primary public library in the city centre.