MORE than 800 people have signed a petition to save a library from closure in the Spen Valley.

And more than 600 of the names were gathered in the first two days of the campaign, which was started by ward councillors in Cleckheaton.

Kirklees Council's Policy Committee announced on July 23 that due to budget cuts it was likley that it could only continue to run full services at its libraries in Dewsbury and Huddersfield.

The Council has discussed plans to cut the library budget from £6.3 million to £2.8 million, meaning the axe could fall on the remaining 24 libraries - including those in Cleckheaton, Birstall and Heckmondwike. Councillors are considering other ideas such as a home book service and outreach librarians.

A second option would be to invest £1.4 million to help communities run their own libraries or have book drops in locations such as Spenborough Town Hall. But the space available there has been described as "inadequate" by campaigners, who are taking early action to save services at the Grade II listed building in Whitcliffe Road.

An online petition has around 830 names and signatures are also being collected on hard copies.

Cleckheaton councillor John Lawson (Lib Dem) said: "The people of Cleckheaton are very proud of its library and very protective of it.

"The fact that in the first two days there were 600 signatures on the petition, gives you an idea of the strength of feeling. It shows you how important the library is in Cleckheaton.

"What we are campaigning for is for the library to stay where it is and how it is. The campaign has a lot of signatures already."

Jo Cox, the Labour parliamentary candidate for Batley and Spen, has also condemned the plans.

She said: "If these buildings close they will be lost forever, we will never get them back. They will be quickly sold off and converted into something else.

"No-one wants to see this and we can't allow it to happen.

"Uniquely in Batley and Spen, our library services are enhanced hugely by their buildings.

"Close or relocate the libraries to a pokey corner somewhere else and you diminish the service and experience for everyone."

Cllr David Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike) said there was more interest from residents in volunteering at Heckmondwike library than setting up a similar online protest.

A Kirklees Council spokesman said anyone who would like to discuss the plans should contact their local councillor.

To sign the online petition, go to

To obtain a hard copy of the online petition, Call cllr Lawson on 07523 304778.

A public consultation is expected to be held in the autumn and final decisions will be made in February.