A WAR of words has broken out in a tale of two libraries and their shared need for repairs and refurbishment.

Baildon Councillor Debbie Davies has hit out at Bradford Council's decision to put cash from the sale of a Shipley building exclusively towards the £640,000 bill for a raft of improvements to Shipley library, while she says Baildon Library has dire problems including draughty windows and a leaking roof - a claim the local authority disputes.

Shipley Library will close on Friday, August 28, for eight months with the revamp to include new heating and lighting and carpets, improved meeting rooms, updated toilets and an exhibition area. New self-service kiosks will also be installed.

Cllr Davies (Con) put a question to the full Council asking if could it clarify why money was being spent on "comparable luxuries like new carpets and redecoration for Shipley Library" when Baildon library urgently needed repairs.

She has now been sent the local authority's response which says Shipley Library has the highest footfall in the district and its re-roofing and re-wiring are high priority.

It added that other council services would also the moved into the library in a new 'Community Hub', enabling the sale of a council-owned property nearby.

"When making any investment in buildings, a review of utilisation and capacity is also undertaken," the council response said.

"This identified the potential to retain and consolidate other Council services currently located in the immediate vicinity together, by creating a Community Hub, a 'One Stop Shop' for citizens, with the relocation of children’s staff (Leaving Care Team) from 39 Kirkgate, Shipley to the Library.

"The building, 39 Kirkgate Shipley ward, has backlog maintenance and is not an ideal premises from which to operate particularly in respect of disabled access for staff and clients.

"The capital receipt from the sale of this building is contributing to the upgrade of Shipley Library, hence why the investment is able to be made.

"Without this capital receipt the investment in Shipley library would not have happened."

The answer concludes that Baildon is also an old building and the council would be happy to consider a similar scheme in Baildon if it could be funded from the sale of a property.

Cllr Davies said: "I agree Shipley library if very well used, but some of the improvements just seem cosmetic.

"Baildon Library does have serious maintenance issues and sometimes they even have to use buckets to catch drips when it's raining because of leaking window frames.

"Also council policy has always been that any money from sale of capital assets should always go into the communal pot."

A Bradford Council spokesman said: "Shipley Library is the busiest library in the district. The only reason we have been able to refurbish it for the first time since it opened is because the council has sold a building nearby to pay for it.

"In addition we are moving another council team into Shipley library which will reduce running costs so there is a good economic argument for doing the works.

"Baildon is a much less well used library. There are no leaks in the roof in Baildon library. Repairs are done as and when necessary as with any other council asset."