THOUSANDS of people have signed a petition calling for Queensbury's tip to be saved from potential closure.

The village's Ford Hill household waste recycling centre could be shut by Bradford Council as it seeks to make £40million in budget cuts over the next three years.

Council chiefs said the authority faced an "unprecedented level of financial pressure" and needed to make "significant" cuts.

But an online petition - which has so far been signed by more than 3,800 people - urged the Labour-led authority to keep the tip.

Judy Wetherell, who set up the petition, said she feared a rise in fly-tipping if the Council goes ahead with its plans.

She told the Telegraph & Argus: "Closing the tip and leaving the residents of Queensbury, Denholme, Thornton, Clayton Heights and other surrounding areas with large distances to travel to other sites will be unaffordable in many instances. 
"The next nearest tip is seven miles away.

"We will see an increase in fly-tipping, not only on the country lanes around Queensbury and Thornton, but on farmland, endangering livestock and wildlife.
"Locally and nationally, fly-tipping is a growing problem for many Councils.
"Bradford Council needs to look at alternative cost-cutting measures - not take away even more services from Queensbury."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Thousands of people have so far signed the petitionThousands of people have so far signed the petition (Image: Mike Simmonds/Newsquest)

Queensbury Councillor Luke Majkowski, leader of the Bradford South Independent Group on Bradford Council, also said there would be more fly-tipping if the tip was axed.

"This will only lead to longer-term costs, therefore not cutting costs at all," he said.

He added: "This is another service that Bradford Council is trying to remove from our ward to pay for its financial mismanagement. 

"Why should the residents of Queensbury lose out to bail Bradford Council out. 

"I understand the Council is struggling, as are many other Councils - the same old quotes will be read about Government cuts and austerity.

"And yes, I understand this has happened - but it's also how you spend the money, not just how much you get. 

"The residents of Queensbury are not blind to this."

'Savings have to be made'

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: "Like many other local authorities across the country, the Council is under an unprecedented level of financial pressure and needs to make significant cuts into the Council's budget to make it a financially sustainable organisation.

"The Council has just announced £40m of savings over the next three financial years.
"The site at Ford Hill, Queensbury, is one of the least used household waste recycling centres, collecting nine per cent of the district's total waste tonnage. 

"We understand why this upsets local residents. Its inclusion in the list of cuts is not an indication that the Council undervalues the facility. On the contrary, we know it is a valued service. However, the Council has to consider savings possible across every department.
"These savings have to be made to address the significant increases in social care costs. 

"We continue to press the Government to provide more funding and support for these statutory services."

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, executive member for healthy people and places at the Council, said: "None of us want to make these cuts, which are the result of Tory Government funding cuts to our district. 

"We've already had to take £350m out of the Council's budget over the last 13 years due to Government cuts - and inevitably it gets even more difficult."

Cllr Alex Mitchell (Lab, Queensbury) added: "We desperately don't want to lose Queensbury tip either.

"We are talking with residents about the terrible impact these Tory funding cuts are having on our ward and district."

Bradford district Tory MPs accused Bradford Council of "wasting money" in the wake of the proposed cuts being announced. 

Robbie Moore, Conservative MP for Keighley and Ilkley, said: "It is infuriating but unfortunately not surprising that under Labour's watch, Susan Hinchcliffe (Bradford Council leader) and her team have bled Bradford Council dry by wasting money on glorified white elephant projects, non-statutory schemes and their gross mismanagement of Children's Services."

"Cllr Hinchcliffe's attempt to blame everyone but herself for leading the Council to bankruptcy isn't fooling anyone."

Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, said: "The old maxim that the Labour Party always runs out of other people's money has never been more true than here in Bradford."