A former university librari an has criticised Bradford Council over its decision to close five libraries across the district.

Peter Ketley, a retired librarian at the University of Bradford, said he can see “no obvious justification” for the Council to shut the buildings.

Last week councillors voted for deep cuts to services at a budget meeting, including closing the five most under-used libraries in the district.

Libraries in Addingham, Denholme, Heaton, Wilsden and Wrose are due to be closed for a saving of £70,000.

Mr Ketley, who is also chairman of Wilsden Parish Council, described the saving as “a high price” for residents of the affected areas.

He said: “I am saddened that Bradford Council has chosen to close five branch libraries.

“The small saving derived – £70,000 – is an insignificant amount in the context of the total Council budget, but represents a high price for the communities of Wilsden, Addingham, Wrose, Heaton and Denholme.

“There appears to be no obvious justification for this decision other than the number of opening hours.”

Mr Ketley said Wilsden Parish Council was due to hold a meeting in the village hall at 7pm today to discuss Bradford Council’s decision to close the library.

He said: “In taking this decision, unfortunately, Bradford joins a growing list of local authorities who do not understand the value that public libraries have in the promotion of life-long learning, particularly in the formative years of childhood.”

At last week’s meeting at City Hall, Bradford Council leader Councillor Ian Greenwood defended the decision to close the libraries.

He said Addingham Library alone was costing £5.83 per visit to run and that alternative ways of sustaining it would be discussed with residents.