A Bingley councillor's claims that Harden Beck was suffering serious pollution problems have been disputed by a neighbouring company.

Robin Owens, a professional botanist, told the Telegraph & Argus he could find no life in the beck, one of Yorkshire's prettiest riverside spots, and said it was "dead, dead, dead!''

Bradford Council backed his claims, saying they were aware of concerns over the beck and that it did appear to be polluted in some way.

It said the beck would be monitored by its countryside officers and invited the public to phone with any information.

But the Valley Printing Company, which adjoins the beck, poured scorn on the claims.

Managing director John Haggas said: "Yesterday there were brown trout up to 12ins long leaping up the waterfall and six to eight of our staff saw them.

"We are disputing what Coun Owens is saying and are quite angry about it because it is just not right. There is life in the beck, the fish are here and if he would like to come down now he can see them.

"Not only are there fish in it, other staff members have seen an otter and there is a heron which comes here regularly too.

"We think ourselves very lucky to be in such a beautiful spot and take great care in all that we do here. Nothing goes into the beck and everything we do is environmentally friendly.

"We pay a company, Silver Lining, to take away all our hazardous waste products and there is no way we would ever let anything harmful get into the beck - we are always ultra-careful.

"We restocked it with fish several years ago because it is such a lovely spot."

But Coun Owens remained defiant.

"I am not convinced. I will go and dig under stones and see if there is any life there and see what is going on,'' he said.

"It was dead when I came out to see the beck and it could well be that the floods have washed any pollution away.''