Local MP Robbie Moore has slammed Bradford Council as “useless” and “idle” for failing to explore alternative sites for a new government-funded health and wellbeing centre in Keighley.
The plans come after a public referendum held last year found that despite wanting a new Health and Wellbeing Centre, the majority of voters opposed plans to build the Centre on Keighley's green space, with 61% of residents voting to keep the area as a green open space.
Whilst the funding of £3.4million forms part of a Towns Fund grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), Minister for Levelling Up, Dehenna Davison also expressed her frustration that an alternative site for the Health and Wellbeing Centre was not sought by Bradford Council.
Reacting to the news, Robbie Moore MP said;
“Bradford Council seem to have forgot that only just a year ago, we had a public referendum in Keighley and the town voted strongly against our Green Space on North Street being built on. Keighley should have had the best of both, a new Health and Wellbeing Hub and kept the Green Space on North Street Green. But given Labour-run Bradford Council’s useless, idle approach with them not exploring other brownfield sites or empty buildings in the centre of Keighley - our Green Space is now due to be built on. I have always said that I want to see a new Health & Wellbeing Hub in the centre of Keighley and for our Green Space to stay green.”
“It is therefore infuriating that despite pressure throughout the last 3 years by me and the clear democratic result of the public referendum held in Keighley in which 61% of residents voted to keep our Green Space Green, Labour-run Bradford Council chose to dither and delay, and not explore other brownfield sites within the centre of Keighley to locate our New Health & Wellbeing Hub on.
“Whilst it is great news that £3.4million has been allocated to the project by our Conservative government, it is my view there are still plenty of brownfield sites or empty buildings elsewhere in Keighley where it should have been built. This is a classic example of Labour-run Bradford Council running roughshod over a democratic process and ignoring the views of the Public Referendum in Keighley by only presenting this single option to the Government. As a result - due to the Council’s laziness our Green Space is now due to be built on to prevent the loss of funding within the allocated timeframe.”
Minister for Levelling Up, Dehenna Davison MP said;
“Given the strength of local community support for adopting the North Street/Cavendish Street site as a green space as expressed through the parish poll, I am very disappointed that an alternative site for the Health and Wellbeing Centre could not have been found. Especially as it has now been almost three years since the Towns Fund prospectus was first published, and almost a year since the parish poll was carried out. I understand throughout that time, the local MP, Robbie Moore, has strongly campaigned, on behalf of his constituents, to have the best of both worlds – both a Health and Wellbeing Hub built in the centre of Keighley, and the full retention of this site as a green space.”
“Given the timescales for the Towns Fund, with a need to spend all funds by March 2026, I would be concerned that any further work now to explore alternative sites would impair the viability of the Health and Wellbeing Centre being completed in that time.”