Bradford West Lib Dem calls to demolish Odeon but include towers in replacement (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford West Lib Dem calls to demolish Odeon but include towers in replacement
Politicians battling to win the Bradford West by-election today weighed into the debate about Bradford’s crumbling former Odeon with one declaring “get a move on and demolish it”.
Liberal Democrat candidate, Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, joined Bradford East Lib Dem MP David Ward in demanding officials “get a grip” on the development of the site following an exclusive report in the Telegraph & Argus this week about the building’s rapidly-deteriorating structural state.
Coun Sunderland released a three-point plan to accept the inevitable and demolish the building, sign a legal agreement to remove all remaining hurdles to redevelopment and, more controversially, ensure what is subsequently built on the site should incorporate a re-creation of The Odeon towers.
She said: “This site is an embarrassment, and worse, we now read it has become dangerous.
“Labour and the Tories have been holding meetings about the Odeon behind closed doors for over a decade. It’s now time for someone to get a grip on proceedings before it gets even more embarrassing.”
Councillor Imran Hussain, the Council’s deputy leader who is trying to retain the Bradford West seat for Labour, said: “The Tories and Lib Dems had ten years to sort out the Odeon building but instead they neglected it and allowed it to fall into ruin.
“If I’m elected as MP I will work tirelessly to make sure that process reaches a positive conclusion as quickly as possible.”
Conservative candidate Jackie Whiteley said: “The Odeon is a Bradford landmark but the current derelict state of the site is not acceptable to anyone. What we need is strong leadership and I would campaign to get this project moving forward with urgency.”
Respect candidate George Galloway said: “I, for one, want the plans to demolish the building abandoned and money immediately sought from Government and elsewhere to restore and regenerate this beautiful and historic building.”
Green Party candidate Dawud Islam said: “I feel it should be redesigned and regenerated into something that the residents of Bradford can be proud of.”
Neil Craig, who is standing for the Democratic Nationalists, said: “It should be kept – it should be modernised and renovated.”
Alan Hope, representing the Monster Raving Loony Party, said: “It can be retained and it can be returned to its former glory – sell it to Tim Martin and turn it into a Wetherspoons.”
Sonja McNally, standing for UKIP, said: “As someone who has been in the past an usherette at the Odeon, for me the Odeon is part of Bradford and it belongs to the people of Bradford and it’s up to them to make the decision.”