The country’s largest union, Unite branded Bradford city council’s decision to back the bid for UK city of culture 2025 while seeking to slash the museums and libraries’ budget by nearly two-thirds as ‘bewildering’ and ‘ironic.’

Library staff in Bradford are currently holding a consultative ballot for industrial action as residents face swingeing cuts to the city’s 13 libraries and four museums.

The consultative ballot of approximately 50 Unite members working in libraries and museums is asking whether they wish to proceed to a full-scale industrial action ballot in defence of the library and museum service.

Unite has charted a decade of cuts to libraries and museums by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council – the latest £950,000 for the year starting April 2019 and a further £1,050,000 earmarked from April 2020.

The ballot opened on 29 July and closes on 12 August.

Commenting Unite regional officer Mark Martin said: “Our members at Bradford museums and libraries are totally bewildered by the announcement that Bradford will be bidding to be the UK City of Culture 2025 and that the leader of the council is also the chair of the Cultural Place Partnership which is behind the bid.

“Should the Council go ahead with its proposed 65 per cent budget cuts to the museums and libraries, it will mean that there will be a massive reduction in provision of cultural services. The irony of the situation will not be lost on anyone.

“We strongly advise the council to reconsider its position regarding budget cuts and to consult with us so that a sensible approach can be agreed which results in no cuts to Bradford’s culture.”


For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.