Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford's library and museum workers in cuts strike

Bradford city centre Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bradford Council plan to spend £1.4m over the next three years to promote its bid to be named UK City of Culture.

Workers at Bradford's libraries and museums have voted to go on strike over what a union called "swingeing cuts".

Members of the Unite union voted to take industrial action with strike dates set to be announced this week.

Unite say the council's "hardline attitude" is in "sharp contrast" with its bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.

Bradford Council said it was "disappointed" Unite members had voted for strike action.

Unite said it had "charted a decade of cuts" to libraries and museums by the council.

It said proposals could see funding for the service reduced by 65% with £950,000 of cuts planned for the year starting April 2019 and a further £1,050,000 earmarked from April 2020.

"Libraries and museums are an integral part of the city's social, cultural and educational fabric and we believe that they are worth fighting for," said Unite regional officer Mark Martin.

Image copyright PA Media/Steve Parsons
Image caption Unite represents about 50 library and museum staff in Bradford about 39% of the council's overall libraries and museums workforce

Bradford Council said it would take steps to help ensure that library services are still provided to residents during the strike.

A council statement said: "We believe that Unite would be better served working with us, offering their views on what can be done to achieve the savings required of the library service in the face of prolonged government cuts and helping to shape the future of our library service, rather than taking this action which will primarily impact library service users and be of no benefit to staff or residents."

Image copyright Geograph/Chris Heaton
Image caption Bradford Council run four museums including Cartwright Hall art gallery

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Bradford Council plan to spend £1.4m over the next three years to promote its bid to be named UK City of Culture.

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