A COMMUNITY attempt to take over the threatened Silsden Library began in earnest this month.

Local councillor Adrian Naylor has revived his recruitment campaign for a team of volunteers to run the library in the town hall.

Bradford Council has pledged to pay the majority of the running costs even after handing control of the service to townspeople.

It plans to run training courses from February for volunteers willing to take over administration and staffing of the service from next April.

The council will provide books from its district-wide stock, pay the utility bills, provide the building at a peppercorn rent, and give access to the Library Service computer system.

Cllr Naylor, who serves on both Silsden and Bradford councils, welcomed the latest developments in the campaign.

He said: “This could see the library running at very little cost, if any. This is a much-improved offer on what was available when we converted Addingham public library to community use six years ago.

“We’re not faced with having to raise large amounts of revenue to run the library – we face the difficulty of making sure we have enough volunteers to keep it open. It’s workable if we can get the volunteers.”

Cllr Naylor spoke after he and fellow ward councillors met with the officers from Bradford Library Service, Keighley Area Coordinator’s office and the council’s Halls and Venues department.

He said: “At the meeting we were advised training would start in February for people interested in becoming volunteers. I expressed concern that this was late in the process, from my experience setting up Addingham Community Library.”

Bradford last year voted to close a number of small libraries across the district to save money, but offered to let residents take them over.

Cllr Naylor, who is still involved in running the Addingham Library, spearheaded attempts last February to recruit potential volunteers in Silsden.

At the time he said around 30 people would be needed to staff the service on a rota.

Cllr Naylor this week said the original recruitment campaign had been successful, and he hoped those volunteers were still willing to become involved.

He said those who had signed up last February would soon be contacted by the Library Service to check whether they were still interested.

He added: “If anyone else wishes to be a volunteer, then please contact myself at adrian.naylor@bradford.gov.uk.”

Alternatively people can contact Mandy Webb at the Library Service by calling 07582 102861 or emailing mandy.webb@bradford.gov.uk.