BURLEY Parish Council agreed to refurbish the village's library at a meeting attended by around 150 residents last week.

It was a success for campaigners who have been battling to retain the 1970s building on the edge of Grange Park. The library became a community library owned by the parish council in April last year and is run by volunteers with one professional part time librarian.

A recent consultation was held by the Parish Council to find out if residents would support selling to library to pay for improvements to the village's Queens Hall, with a library facility within the Bradford Council-owned building.

However, campaigners came out strongly in favour of retaining the library in its current position. This included Cllr Jackie Whiteley (Con, Wharfedale) who, at last week's parish council meeting, seconded a proposal by parish councillor Niccola Swan to spend £350,000 on the Queens Hall and £150,000 on the Library, to give the village two improved buildings. When all options were voted on this proposal was successful.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Whiteley said: "I am delighted with the result. More than 100 residents attended and about 10 people asked to speak including Cllrs Dale Smith and Gerry Barker. All speakers strongly supported keeping the library and funding its repair as well repairing and refurbishing the Queens Hall. The extensions to the Queens Hall will be reconsidered in the future when finances are reviewed if building developments take place. There also needs to be a business case for doing so.

"The Library was sold to the Parish Council for £1 and now it will be saved for future residents. It makes sense to improve what we own. The borrowing to do the work on both buildings will be around £9 on the precept. It is clear that more and more people use the library and it is about much more than borrowing books. Both buildings are a resource for an expanding village and will become community hubs for all ages. I congratulate my fellow Parish Councillors for supporting the amendments that Niccola and I put forward and for listening to the community who worked hard to show their support."

Cllr Mike Wild, chairman of Burley Parish Council said: "Burley Parish Council were disappointed in the low response to both consultation exercises to consider options for Queens Hall and Burley Library; but looked forward to the Council meeting on 8th March to hear what the community had to say about refurbishment of both buildings and location of Burley Library. The Council was not disappointed there were over 150 people present who wished to see both building retained and refurbished.

"The cost was discussed but the feeling was that it was worth the additional increase to the precept to retain the services offered by both buildings. After constructive discussion among the Parish Councillors it was agreed the Council would borrow £365,000 and £150,000 plus fee costs to repair and start a refurbishment programme for the Queens Hall and Burley Library, with the programme to start immediately! It was further agreed Bradford Council should be approached to make a contribution towards the Queens Hall work!

"Although most people had attended the meeting for the Queens Hall and Library items the Council also agreed to give a grant to the Scouts and Guides to help with the new HQ, that the Council would continue to provide the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme from Queens Hall now Bradford Council have abandoned it and also to ensure the Council have in place the framework to meet the New General Data Protection Regulations from 25th May 2018."