A HOUSEBOUND Silsden pensioner has called for more frequent home visits by the library service.

Ailene Wade, who is in her 80s, is dismayed that she gets a visit from Bradford Council staff only once every six weeks.

Her visits were reduced last year as part of district-wide library cuts, which also saw the end of mobile libraries visiting Silsden.

A last-minute U-turn in the spring of last year saved home visits, with a reduction from three to six weeks per person.

Bradford Council this week revealed it is looking at the possibility of expanding the current service, which regularly visits 500 housebound people.

The service, which visits people in their own home or residential homes, is currently full and potential new customers have to be put on a waiting list.

Miss Wade, of Tillotson Street, said housebound people felt they were out of sight and out of mind, and did not matter to the council.

She said: “The decision to cut this service could have been made by people who don't read and have never opened a book since they left school.

“They don't understand the pleasure their visits bring to the housebound. It is a great psychological lift and keeps us in touch with the outside world.”

Miss Wade said home visits had enabled her to read wonderful books about Yorkshire and its people, as well as biographies.

In 2013, when cuts to the library service were first proposed, Miss Wade was among people who spoke about the possible effects.

Then she said the loss of the service – caused by ongoing public spending cuts to help the council balance its budget – would be a “massive blow”.

Jackie Kitwood, principal libraries officer at Bradford Council, this week confirmed the district’s mobile library service was scrapped in March last year as part of budget reductions.

She said: “We do provide a home library service. This consists of one delivery van and 37 hours of staff time.

“Customers are allowed to borrow up to 25 books and audio books at each visit. Each customer has a reading profile drawn up, as the amount of books/audio books that can be carried about is limited.

"We are currently reviewing the service to see if it would be possible to make more frequent visits.”

The home service is available to customers who are unable to access books in the usual ways. The library in Silsden Town Hall is open for about 30 hours a week.