A CALL has been made for volunteers to come forward and safeguard the future of a Bradford library.

The Council-run Clayton Library could be under threat next year if extra people aren’t found to make up 30 and a half hours a week.

Clayton Parish Council has now called a public meeting to discuss plans for the site, including increasing the number of community groups using the library as their base.

Christopher Kaushal-Bolland, chairman of Clayton Parish Council, said the library had been affected by local authority budget cuts implemented in January.

“Clayton has been fortunate so far due to its location and position as a hybrid library,” he said.

“We have retained Council staff allowing the library to open 30 and a half hours a week.

“We now have to find enough volunteers to cover the same time period. If we are not able to do this by April, we will sadly have to close.

“We have had significant interest already, and there is a strong feeling that people don’t want to lose the library.

“Claytonians have a great community spirit and while I am supremely confident that we will find the volunteers, we need to raise the profile and awareness of the changes being made. The last thing we want to do is leave things too late in the day.”

Mr Kaushal-Bolland said that while a number of groups already used the library, such as mothers and toddlers groups and the Clayton History Society, more needed to be done to maximise its use as a community hub.

“We need to re-consider how to use the facility as a real community space,” he said.

Changes to the way the library is staffed and managed will come into effect from April. The parish council are looking for volunteers to work alongside trained librarians, and full training will be provided.

Councillor Carol Thirkhill, (Lab, Clayton and Fairweather Green), said all ward councillors were supportive of the library being volunteer-led, given the effect of the Council budget cuts.

“It is more than just a library for the people of Clayton,” she said.

“The site was also the first school in the village and its the building itself we also want to save and see people use. It is already a well-used facility, but we are hoping to build on the number of groups in there. There are lots of other things that could be based there, and many groups struggle for affordable space.

“We also want to ensure there is IT access, which is particularly important for older people in the village who may not have that at home.”

The public meeting to discuss the future of the library will take place at Clayton Village Hall from 6.30pm to 8pm on Tuesday, January 17. Anyone interested in volunteering their services for a few hours a week should contact the parish clerk at clerk@clayton-pc.gov.uk.