SOCIAL workers and health teams could take on the role of mobile librarians, claims a councillor.

Andrew Mallinson suggests that health care workers who visit the elderly and disabled in their own homes could take along a selection of books.

He believes they are perfectly placed to regularly deliver books in the light of cuts to Bradford Council’s own library service.

Cllr Mallinson, who represents Craven ward on Bradford Council, made the comments after housebound Silsden pensioner Ailene Wade complained about the current state of the library service.

Miss Wade, of Tillotson Street, who is in her 80s, used to receive a visit from council library staff every three weeks.

Spending cuts in spring 2014 reduced her visits to once every six weeks, and forced the scrapping of Silsden’s long-established mobile library service.

Cllr Mallinson said: “If someone is housebound they must be receiving some sort of contact from social services or healthcare workers.

“It’s not beyond the capabilities of a healthcare worker with access to the Internet to bring along a book they have pre-ordered.

“We might have to have council meeting to look at other service providers who are in touch with people in these outlying areas.”

Cllr Adrian Naylor, who serves on both Bradford and Silsden councils, said volunteers had taken over the running of some local libraries, including Addingham, which is also in Craven ward.

But he said it would probably not be feasible to have volunteers delivering books to people in the more outlying areas of Silsden.

He added: “Access to books and reading is important for adults who are housebound due to the social aspect, contact with other people.

“I think it’s a service that can’t be cut without consideration to how we counter the effects of increased isolation.”