HUNDREDS of people have signed a Bradford mum’s on-line petition to save her local library.

Within days of Caroline Heward, 37, starting the petition on to keep Holme Wood Library open and staffed, more than 300 people had backed it.

The petition will keep running throughout the summer holidays before it is handed over to Bradford South Labour MP Judith Cummins.

Bradford Council wants all but seven of its 32 libraries to become community-managed as part of moves to save £120 million from council budgets. Under the proposal, five libraries in Bradford South, including Holme Wood, are under threat

Ms Heward, who lives in Branksome Drive and whose family are regular users of Holme Wood Library in Broadstone Way, said it would be a disaster for the community if it shut.

“Our library is more than books. It’s a valued community hub, a meeting place.

"We want Bradford Council to reconsider its decision. We believe that the library will struggle to remain open without paid staff in place and that a fully volunteer operated scheme will be unsustainable in the long term.

"Even with all the goodwill in the world of volunteers, what happens if there is a problem or something they can’t deal with. Our library staff are excellent,” she said.

Ms Heward said between 800 and 1,000 people accessed the library every week and that come next April with no staff to run it, Holme Wood would lose the heart of its community.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “It is too early at this stage to talk in any detail about our strategy for community libraries, however, we are appealing for volunteers over the summer.

“We have been made aware that a petition has started and will consider the details when it is submitted in line with our normal policy.”

Ms Cummins said she would be encouraging the council to respond positively to the petition.

She said: “Our libraries are a vital community resource and an important way of engaging children in reading and learning from an early age. They are also an important focal point for older members of our community and help to combat social isolation.

"I encourage the council to do everything it can to respond positively to this petition and ensure that Holme Wood keeps its library. We should not forget, however, that the root cause of the Council’s budget decision on libraries is the reductions in central government funding that have disproportionately hit Bradford.”