Campaigners fighting library closures as part of a £30m package of cuts claim they are being denied their say on the proposals.

Bradford Council has been accused of “undermining democracy” by the Conservative-led opposition because it is enforcing a rule in refusing to allow campaigners to put arguments against the cuts directly to councillors.

Under the six-month rule, the proposed closures of five libraries – including Wilsden and Denholme – cannot be debated again at a meeting of the full council as they were discussed at a budget meeting last month.

Opposition leader Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (above) said she was concerned the libraries would be closed before campaigners were given a chance to air objections as a result of the six-month rule being invoked.

She said: “There is a danger that the message from the public is not one that the council is comfortable hearing, so they are closing their ears.

“I call on them to reverse this decision and let the people speak. In six months the closures could be a fait accompli.”

Council leader Ian Greenwood said views would be considered in a consultation, adding the council’s solicitors were the ones who had decided to invoke the six-month rule.

“We will engage with people as openly and fully as possible before any decisions are taken,” he said.

Liberal Democrat group leader Jeanette Sunderland said: “The petitions will go in and councillors should be able to hear it. Then it will be referred to the executive, because they made the recommendations, and the executive will have to decide.”