The future of Eccleshill Treatment Centre has provoked fierce debate but the most determined action has come from a 15-year-old neighbour.

James Slater was horrified when news emerged that the centre’s services could be lost, causing problems for patients and potentially putting up to 80 Care UK staff in danger of redundancy.

So he took to the streets to raise a petition to save it in its existing form and in fewer than three weeks had more than 3,500 names.

He handed in his petition at last night’s meeting and said: “It has provided excellent care and has been well liked and praised b the community.”

The centre dealt with more than 30,000 people last year and if they were all diverted to Bradford Royal Infirmary it would put the hospital “beyond breaking point” James said.