SILSDEN library will close at the end of this month and will not reopen until the summer, says a councillor.

The shock news was revealed this week despite efforts by townspeople to take over the library from Bradford Council.

Cllr Adrian Naylor said staff would be pulled from the facility in Silsden Town Hall on April 1, and the doors will remain closed until a team of volunteers has completed training.

The town and district councillor, who is spearheading the community library project, this week said he had pleaded with council bosses for a rethink.

But he said: “They’ve refused to budge. I even asked whether we could find the money to pay the staff ourselves and they still said no, because workers had been redeployed elsewhere in the council.

“We are basically at Bradford’s beck and call. I’m not impressed with what’s gone on so far.”

Cash-strapped Bradford Council made it clear last year that several of its smaller libraries, including Silsden, would close on April 1 this year unless people came forward to take over responsibility.

Bradford agreed to provide books, computer systems and running costs but the entire staff would have to be volunteers.

Cllr Naylor said dozens of volunteers came forward 12 months ago to staff and manage the library, but through no fault of their own, vital meetings with council officers and councillors were delayed.

He added: “Effectively the process was delayed for 10 months, then another three months. And now, through no fault of the volunteers, we will have several months with the library closed.

“The volunteers would rather the library stayed open and the transfer went through seamlessly.”

The Silsden library group this week confirmed it had had three meetings with council representatives to discuss the handover of the library service in Silsden.

Spokesman Janet Emmett said: “Many locals have come forward to offer their time and a management committee has now been formed to organise the running of the library.

“However, around 60 people are needed if the service is to continue to operate over 30 hours a week, as it does at present.

“The committee are looking forward to tailoring the new service to Silsden’s needs including the possibility of delivering books to the elderly and providing more activities for local school children as well as enabling other items, such as tourist information, to be on display.”

Anyone willing to give at least an hour a fortnight should email or call Janet on 07443 333531.