I AM very disappointed by the weak arguments put forward by district councillors Abid Hussain and Khadim Hussain for the building of a ‘community hub’ on the delightful green space which now exists on the former Mechanics’ Institute site in North Street.

It is significant that Bradford Council has never revealed to the people of Keighley exactly why a community hub is necessary at all and exactly what activities would take place inside it.

Cllr Abid Hussain claims the hub would “bring several organisations that serve the public under one roof”. Abid perhaps forgets that Bradford Council owns the largely-empty Keighley Town Hall, opened in 1901 to serve the many more functions which Keighley Borough Council provided for the town than are provided today by Bradford Council. Put these undefined “organisations that serve the public” into the town hall and leave the green space for the greater enjoyment of your constituents.

Cllr Khadim Hussain claims that “Town Hall Square provides the necessary greener..” Come on Khadim, Town Hall Square, though immensely attractive, is a hard paved area with planted flowerbeds. It is not comparable to the new green space which as you say is “a prime site and accessible”.

Both councillors should have a care. Their constituents may not forgive them for advocating building on what is now literally, a greenfield site.

So I wholly support the view of town mayor Cllr Peter Corkindale that the North Street site should be further developed into an attractive town centre park, and named, as Kevin Seaton recommends, after our much missed local historian Dr Ian Dewhirst. Absolutely no disrespect to Captain Sir Tom Moore, but he is now celebrated in a variety of ways – including by an existing plaque at Airedale Hospital – and we have perhaps forgotten that Keighley did promise to provide a lasting memorial for Ian, something which we have not yet done.

GRAHAM MITCHELL Keighley Town Mayor 2006-07 and 2014-15

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