People across Keighley have the chance to have their say in a public vote this Thursday on the future of the former Keighley College site on North Street.
The three questions on the Parish Poll ballot paper relate to the future use of the site on the corner of North Street and Cavendish Street. The site is owned by Bradford Council and has been earmarked as the location for the development of a new health hub in the town centre.
Those proposing the questions on the poll would like to see the health hub built elsewhere in Keighley and for the site to be kept and developed into a useable green space for the people of Keighley.
A total of 45 polling stations will be open across the town between 4pm and 9pm on Thursday (21st July) for people to cast their vote. You can see the list of polling stations at bradford.gov.uk/your-council/elections-and-voting/notice-of-parish-poll-keighley-parish-area/
The questions being asked are as follows:
- Do you want a Health & Wellbeing Hub in Keighley?
- Do you want a Health & Wellbeing Hub on the vacant land at the corner of North Street & Cavendish Street?
- Should the vacant land at the corner of North Street & Cavendish Street be recognised as a Public Open Space?
In a post on Facebook, Labour councillor Julie Lintern, who represents Keighley West on Bradford Council said that the issue was being used as a 'political tool' when it should be a debate about the health of local residents.
Councillor Lintern added: "Bradford Council are NOT developing this scheme. It has been chosen and will be funded by the Towns Fund and the NHS.The part the council has played is to donate land, land which will need to be developed regardless - the land is brownfield site, not developing it is not an option - utilising the land for this purpose will ensure funds will go towards the building and provisions within it."
She said that Yorkshire Forward had funded the demolition of the old college building with a specific requirement to build something in its place that would have to further economic development and regentation, promote business efficiency, employment and skills.
Cllr Lintern added: "Failure to utilise the land for the benefits specified would result in a clawback of £4,114,000.
"It should also be noted that should the Health & Wellbeing Centre not progress on this site it is almost certain that the £3.4m secured through the Towns Fund process would also be forfeit as the time scale for this investment is limited. Therefore, the overall liability of not progressing the centre on this site could exceed £7.5m - that’s the financial cost, aside to the cost to our health.
"Please don’t be swayed by false images or wishes shared by a few, read the facts and make your own minds up."
Keighley MP Robbie Moore is among those campainging to 'Keep it Green' and recently spoke about the issue in the House of Commons (see below video). Along with local Conservative councillors, Mr Moore has argued that the 'unique site' should remain as an open landscaped area for local people to enjoy.
Mr Moore said: "The green space on North Street is a unique site in the centre of our town. Like many people, I care passionately about protecting it from being built on.
"Bradford Council are trying to present this argument as an 'either/or' choice between building a Health and Wellbeing Hub or protecting the green space, but this should not be an either/or choice. We should be able to have both - as there are plenty of other brownfield sites or empty premises in the centre of Keighley which could be used for a new Health and Wellbeing Hub.
"This referendum will give the people of Keighley a chance to have their say."
#KEEPITGREEN 💚 On Thursday 21st July between 4pm and 9pm all in Keighley can VOTE to SAVE the Green Space. WATCH 🎥👇 To find out more, please visit www.robbiemoore.org.uk/keepitgreen #StandingUpForKeighley #KeighleyPosted by Robbie Moore MP on Thursday, July 14, 2022