More than 1,000 residents have signed a petition protesting the proposed closure of a village hall near Calderdale's border with the Bradford district.

This number ensures the proposal’s discussion by a Calderdale Council scrutiny panel and when it met on Monday, the council’s Cabinet was updated on the situation with potential transfers to interested community groups.

The council has said a number of buildings, including Shelf Village Hall, which houses its library, will be sold off if public groups cannot take them over, moves agreed by Cabinet as part of its Future Council programme to identify cuts which will need to be made to balance the books over a three year period.

Residents signing the petition argue a deadline of the end of March leaves little time to explore local control options, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic severely restricting public contact.

The petitioners would like to see the library service continue to operate either under council control or other management model, but essentially subsidised by that portion of the council tax gathered from local residents.

Likewise, they believe the village hall, initially part-funded by donations from Shelf residents, should remain open for the benefit of people in the community under the control of the council or a locally appointed trust or trustee group.

They also believe issues of hire costs, lack of sports facilities, potential for increased usage and further erosion of facilities in an area earmarked for a large number of potential new homes in the council’s Local Plan should be considered.

The library housed there is in the top four non-hub libraries in Calderdale, and is well used and the hall also houses projects like the Stay Well initiative, say the campaigners.

Cabinet heard that in general terms positive expressions of interest have been received by the council over a number of premises, with a March 2021 deadline.

David Wager, who started the petition, said: “Those signing the petition are asking the council to provide at least six months, or longer, if restrictions are not lifted, to pursue options for an alternative future for the library and village hall.”