THREE council-run libraries have yet to reopen after Bradford Council pulled out its paid staff to save cash.

The libraries in Menston, St Augustine’s in Undercliffe and Haworth Road in Upper Heaton were among 13 across the district that Bradford Council had hoped to turn into ‘community managed’ facilities from April this year to save money.

In Upper Heaton, the existing library building is being sold at auction this week.

A Council spokesman said it would “continue to look at alternative locations and to work with the local community” to try to reopen a replacement volunteer-run service.

But ward councillor Mohammed Amran (Lab, Heaton) said the local authority had already agreed to invest money to help open a new volunteer-run library in nearby St Martin’s Church, also in Haworth Road.

He said: “We are moving it across to the church. That’s definitely happening, that was the deal.”

Cllr Amran said the existing library had been an “old building” which had cost a lot of money to run and had needed modernising.

The detached library building will go under the hammer on Thursday, with a guide price of £100,000.

Efforts to reopen community-run libraries in Menston and Undercliffe are also continuing, it is understood.

Ward councillor for St Augustine's, Rizwana Jamil (Lab, Bowling and Barkerend), said they were in the process of signing up volunteers to reopen the facility in its existing location.

She said: "We hope to have something ready for the community in the next couple of months."

Before this year, Bradford already had six 'community-run' local libraries, at Addingham, Denholme, WilsdenWrose, Idle and Allerton.

Of the 13 further libraries the Council wanted to withdraw staff from in April, seven have remained open thanks to volunteers, at Burley, Holme Wood, Great Horton, Bolling, Silsden, Thornbury and Thornton.

An eighth, in Queensbury, will re-open its doors as a volunteer-run facility in September.

Currently, Clayton and Baildon libraries are running with a mixture of paid staff and volunteers. 

In total, more than 250 volunteers from across the district have signed up to help keep a local library running.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby (Lab, Wyke), who oversees libraries, said: “It’s been a difficult journey for the communities and the local libraries affected by these necessary changes. 

“However the response from groups and individuals wanting to give their time, hard work and enthusiasm to retain their local library has been fantastic. 

“I am delighted that with their support we have been able to retain such a high number of local libraries when many other parts of the country are seeing closures.” 

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen, the Conservative opposition group's spokesman for libraries, said she was surprised Menston in particular did not already have a community-run library up and running.

She said: “Menston is a surprise, because they have got quite an active community over there.”