Hopes and aspirations for the coming year

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford City chairman Mark Lawn Bradford City chairman Mark Lawn

High-profile figures and community leaders across the Bradford district have been speaking of their hopes and resolutions for the New Year.

Bradford City joint-chairman Mark Lawn said his overwhelming wish for 2014 was that his wife, Yvonne, would win her ongoing battle with bowel cancer.

He also expressed his wish that his beloved Bantams would continue to build on their progress which saw Phil Parkinson’s side reach two Wembley finals in 2013, culminating in the club’s promotion from League Two.

Mr Lawn said: “First and foremost, my hope is that my wife’s health will improve and that she can be cancer free.

“So far, it has been very tough but we are working towards Yvonne winning her battle. That would be my wish for 2014.”

On his football club’s hopes and dreams, Mr Lawn added: “It has been an outstanding year to be a Bradford City supporter and I hope that we can continue to build on the progress we have made.

“Let’s see where we are in March time but, whatever division we are in next season, I’m sure we will look to strengthen the squad in the summer.”

Mr Lawn said that he hoped to see an upturn in fortunes for Bradford city centre, adding: “I’d like to see the centre of Bradford improve and hopefully the Westfield development will help with that.”

Mohammed Rafiq Sehgal, president of Bradford Council of Mosques, said: “Our greatest wish is that 2014 brings good health, prosperity and peace to all Bradfordians.”

Mr Sehgal went on to speak about some of the characteristics that make Bradford such a great place.

He said: “Bradford is a great city to live in and to be part of. What makes us cherish this place is the friendship and togetherness among the communities.”

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Bradford Council, said: “My immediate priority is to complete a bike ride from Vietnam to Cambodia, raising funds for the Marie Curie Hospice movement.

“We leave on January 17 for the 10-day trip and hope to raise thousands for this cause. I need to get that under my belt before anything else.

“I then want to concentrate on getting the best possible deal out of the Government in terms of jobs for Bradford. We also want to make sure that we can put pressure on the council locally to support older and vulnerable people through the budget process.”

Coun Glen Miller, leader of the Conservative group on Bradford Council, said: “My New Year resolution would be that all residents of Bradford would get on; put their support behind all those who need it and work together to bring Bradford to where it should be in the country.”

Making the most of grandchildren is a 2014 priority for Bradford East Lib Dem MP, David Ward.

He says one of the hardest new year resolutions is striking the right balance between family, social and work issues.

“It hangs over you all the time,” he said. “It is a constant and you have to get it right – especially now I have grandchildren. Those first years are so precious and you don’t want to wake up one morning and wonder where those years went.”

As a former personal development trainer, Mr Ward is used to setting goals for a new year. “It’s my birthday halfway through the year so I monitor progress then,” he said.

“I have done all the things like cutting out sugar and other health issues.

“I think for 2014 I would want to make sure the house is well-maintained and up-to-date. Politically, it’s about a campaign for social care. My aims are at very different levels.”

Bradford-born businessman Keith Madeley, who is better known as ‘Mr Yorkshire’, for his role as chairman of the Yorkshire Society, would like to see more young people involved in the society in 2014. “I’m looking at working with Leeds Metropolitan University on that,” he said. “I think it is essential for any organisation - if we don’t engage with young people we don’t survive.”

Keith has been at the helm of the society, which promotes the county, since 2002.

A further hope of Keith’s this year is to re-establish the Leeds Club, a place where business people could meet.

“It was originally established in 1849 but closed in March last year,” he said. “We have managed to find new premises. There is still a place for a business club environment nowadays and the good news is that there are a lot of young people who want to join.

He added that, once up and running, he hoped the club could forge links with the reputable Bradford Club.

On a more personal note, Keith – who was awarded an MBE in 2011 for community service and last month was made an honorary canon of Ripon Cathedral – is hoping to enjoy the year with his wife Chris after celebrating their silver wedding anniversary tomorrow.

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, said: “I have only one New Year resolution for 2014 – and that is to lose weight.

“I want to lose a stone and it won’t be easy. I will try to stop eating snacks and things like crisps and chocolates. Cut out all the pleasurable things. It will be hard. I usually eat when I get the chance.”

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