BURLEY-in-Wharfedale's three district councillors have written to the village's parish council ahead of a crunch meeting which could decide the fate of the library.

Councillors Gerry Barker, Jackie Whiteley and Dale Smith are urging parish councillors to defer a decision on the future of the library in Burley for 12 months, so a full and proper assessment of its viability can be formed and a business plan can be compiled.

The Parish Council meets this evening (September 14) at 7.30pm in the Queen's Hall, when they could decide to sell the library for development and use the proceeds to redevelop the Queen's Hall to include some form of library facilities.

A Parish Council spokesman told the Gazette and Observer last week the library building was in need of significant refurbishment and they were aware the Bradford Council would withdraw non staff funding in April, leaving the Parish Council with annual running costs in the region of £30-£35,000.

However, campaign group Save Our Library Site (SOLS) has called on the parish council to delay a decision until the parish council has produced firm plans and costings for the Queen's Hall and held a consultation on these and on the alternative methods and costs of retaining and improving the current library site.

In their letter to the parish council, Cllrs Barker, Whiteley and Smith say: "We understand that you intend to make a decision about the future of Burley in Wharfedale Library on 14th September. As District Councillors who also represent this village we hope you will consider the points we make in this letter.

"We have now had the opportunity to ask council officers what they know about funding for the coming financial year. It has been confirmed that Bradford Council intends to fund the library non-staff costs until 31st March 2020 with the proviso that this will depend on funds being available. At this time the decision regarding funding for the financial year 2018/19 has not been made. We note that your recent newsletter says: "The Parish Council is acutely aware that Bradford will withdraw non-staff funding for the building in April".

"This is factually incorrect and misleading to residents. We think that making a decision based on this assumption is not acting in good faith. Furthermore, we believe that as Bradford may well, and is likely to fund, the fledgling libraries for at least another year, that we should accept this money and at the same time allow the SOLS group to explore opportunities to save the building for an expanding future population. You have nothing to lose by doing this. "You set a tight deadline of six months which arguably was inadequate and the rational for making a swift decision now when you are not required to do so is unclear.

"Please consider postponing this decision until you have had an opportunity to fully cost building works at the Queens Hall, open the finished options and costs for public scrutiny, and know the decision of Bradford Planners regarding the three planning applications which may result in contributions toward infrastructure in the village. This will give you a firm basis on which to make this momentous decision to lose a public building and will avoid unwanted attention and challenges."