A UNION has slammed Bradford Council's decision to back the bid for UK City of Culture 2025 in the face of cuts to museums and libraries.

A consultative ballot of approximately 50 Unite members working in libraries and museums is asking whether they wish to proceed to a full-scale industrial action ballot.

Bradford Council has previously announced major cuts to its libraries and museums service, amounting to a £1.05 million cut to library budgets and £500,000 to the museums service in 2020-21.

Overall budget reductions for these services for the current year and next financial year represent a cut of 65 per cent.

The ballot opened on July 29 and closes on August 12.

Unite regional officer Mark Martin said: “Our members at Bradford museums and libraries are totally bewildered by the announcement that Bradford will be bidding to be the UK City of Culture 2025 and that the leader of the council is also the chair of the Cultural Place Partnership which is behind the bid.

“Should the Council go ahead with its proposed 65 per cent budget cuts to the museums and libraries, it will mean that there will be a massive reduction in provision of cultural services. The irony of the situation will not be lost on anyone.

“We strongly advise the council to reconsider its position regarding budget cuts and to consult with us so that a sensible approach can be agreed which results in no cuts to Bradford’s culture.”

A spokesperson for Bradford Council said: “We published a budget last year as we do every year and consulted on it in the proper way. Every department across the Council has had to face reductions in funding as a result of national Government austerity. Any future budget will of course be fully consulted upon with staff and residents.”