RESIDENTS in the Spen Valley will have another chance to influence how libraries in the area are run when a specific consultation on their future opens later this month.

In July last year, Kirklees Council announced that due to budget cuts it was likely it could only continue to provide full library services in Dewsbury and Huddersfield, meaning the remaining 24 libraries across the district - including Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Birstall - faced the threat of closure.

Campaigners have established petitions and 'Friends Of' groups in a bid to save the libraries, and are now being invited to have their say on how the service can continue, with £3.2million set to be slashed from its £5.75 million budget by 2017.

In a previous consultation on Kirklees Council's overall budget cuts, 26 per cent of respondents felt it was a "good idea" to develop alternative ways of running libraries, but 37 per cent said they were "not keen", or felt it was a "bad idea."

The authority is proposing three different models of provision, town libraries, community-supported libraries, and community-run libraries, with the added possibility of book drop-ins at some locations, and an expanded home library service to replace the current mobile libraries.

More than 3,700 people have signed a petition protesting against the closure of the Grade II-listed Cleckheaton Library, and one of the town's Liberal Democrat Councillors, Andrew Pinnock, said he hoped the building would come under the town library model.

"I would like to think the town model would include Cleckheaton Library," he said.

"There is still a strong body of opinion that the library should be retained, in its current venue.

"The library serves a much bigger area than the town itself and has a far wider reach, which is why it has the number of users it has.

"It shouldn't be moved into the town hall, as that would immediately downgrade it."

The library at Heckmondwike is also under threat, and a public meeting to discuss ways to save the facility will take place at the venue on Tuesday, starting at 6pm.

Councillor Graham Turner, Kirklees Council's portfolio holder for resources, said the authority had been forced to look at new ways of working to deliver "an efficient and comprehensive service" with a "much-reduced" budget.

“We are committed to providing the best service we can within the financial constraints," he said.

"Officers and I have been engaging with many groups over the last few months to try to find positive solutions to enable us to provide a library service with the help and support of local communities.

“It is proposed that the council should seek opportunities to co-locate libraries with other services to achieve savings while maintaining service provision."

A questionnaire will be available on the library website, and in libraries and community venues, from January 19 until the consultation ends on April 10.

For details, visit