SEVERAL Bradford libraries will soon see a reduction in the number of days they open past 5pm.

Starting early next month, many of the district’s libraries that open until 7pm throughout the week will only open past 5pm on certain days.

Bradford Council claims the change is not a cost cutting exercise, and will “reduce unplanned closures” that have plagued the library service in recent years.

Some of the district’s biggest libraries, including Keighley, Shipley and City Library, open until 7pm on most days through the week, with shorter opening hours at weekends.

But the Council has revealed that from December 4, these libraries will only open until 7pm on certain days – closing at 5pm the rest of the time.

In an announcement today, the Council said there would be no job losses as part of the shake up, and it will allow libraries to be used by community groups when not open to the general public.

A spokesman said: “In August and September, Bradford Libraries asked for users to fill in a survey on changing the opening hours at libraries across the district. 

“The survey asked about the libraries that you use and the proposed changes to opening hours and which evening opening times would be best. 

“There were a total of 1,187 responses to the survey, including users from all 10 Council libraries.    Overall, a total of 905 (76 per cent) respondents agreed with the proposals.

“From the feedback received some of the proposals were amended.”

The changes coming in on Monday December 4 will see the below libraries opening until 7pm on the specified days.

Monday – Eccleshill Library, Ilkley Library and Keighley Library

Tuesday – Bingley Library, City Library and Shipley Library

Wednesday – Eccleshill Library, City Library, Keighley Library, Manningham Library and  Shipley Library

Thursday – Bingley Library, City Library, Ilkley Library, Laisterdyke Library, Manningham Library, Wibsey Library and Wyke Library.

The spokesman added: “This is not a cost saving exercise – no staff will lose their jobs and no libraries will close.

“It is hoped that once changes are made it will provide more opportunities for local community groups to use the library spaces when they are not open to the public, retain evening opening times on selected days as well as usual weekend opening, for people who cannot get to the library during the regular working day and reduce unplanned closures.”

Recent years have seen staff shortages lead to unplanned closures of libraries throughout the District.