Bradford Council proposes new traffic orders for Silsden

A traffic order is being advertised in Silsden recommending:

No waiting at any time on two lengths of Bradley Road and No waiting at any time on two lengths of Belton Road and four lengths of Keighley Road.

These intended restrictions for Bradley Road relate to its junction with Skipton Road.

The planned changes at Belton Road and Keighley Road would affect the junction of these roads and a stretch of the northbound lane of Keighley Road as it passes the sports fields.

Craven Ward Councillor Adrian Naylor said he welcomed the traffic orders.

“These have been asked for, for some considerable amount of time,” he added.

“The yellow lines meant for Bradley Road and Skipton Road are to stop cars parking at that junction in order to improve visibility and safety.

“But it needs enforcement. You can have as many yellow lines as you like, but it won’t make a difference unless you have someone there to issue parking tickets.”

 

Posted in Infrastructure, News

Millions spent in Bradford after assets stripped in Silsden

A proposed new £15 million market in Bradford is a kick in the teeth for Silsden people losing land and buildings, claims a councillor.

Adrian Naylor said cash-strapped Bradford Council was spending millions on the city centre while outlying towns and villages were losing their assets.

He spoke after Bradford announced plans to replace the existing Oastler Centre with a new market in Darley Street, and use the old site for housing.

Cllr Naylor, who sits on both Bradford and Silsden councils, said City Hall had in recent years made six-figure sums selling Silsden’s assets.

 

 

He said these included the former library, council offices and public toilets, and strips of land that developers could use to access land-locked housing sites.

Cllr Naylor said: “The new £15 million market, while welcome news for Bradford, is not going to be welcomed by people living in outlying areas that are not seeing investment taking place.

“The market in the centre of Bradford will not attract anyone from the outer elements of the district. One of the concerns voiced by residents are that assets are being stripped in outlying areas of the district.”

Cllr Naylor said public buildings in Silsden were being closed and sold, despite the council forecasting that the town would grow by 50 per cent in coming years.

Posted in Facilities, Library, Maintenance, News, Town Hall

Silsden library will close at the end of this month

 

Silsden library will close at the end of this month and will not reopen until the summer, says a councillor.

The shock news was revealed this week despite efforts by townspeople to take over the library from Bradford Council.

Cllr Adrian Naylor said staff would be pulled from the facility in Silsden Town Hall on April 1, and the doors will remain closed until a team of volunteers has completed training.

The town and district councillor, who is spearheading the community library project, this week said he had pleaded with council bosses for a rethink.

But he said: “They’ve refused to budge. I even asked whether we could find the money to pay the staff ourselves and they still said no, because workers had been redeployed elsewhere in the council.

“We are basically at Bradford’s beck and call. I’m not impressed with what’s gone on so far.”

Cash-strapped Bradford Council made it clear last year that several of its smaller libraries, including Silsden, would close on April 1 this year unless people came forward to take over responsibility.

Bradford agreed to provide books, computer systems and running costs but the entire staff would have to be volunteers.

Cllr Naylor said dozens of volunteers came forward 12 months ago to staff and manage the library, but through no fault of their own, vital meetings with council officers and councillors were delayed.

He added: “Effectively the process was delayed for 10 months, then another three months. And now, through no fault of the volunteers, we will have several months with the library closed.

“The volunteers would rather the library stayed open and the transfer went through seamlessly.”

The Silsden library group this week confirmed it had had three meetings with council representatives to discuss the handover of the library service in Silsden.

Spokesman Janet Emmett said: “Many locals have come forward to offer their time and a management committee has now been formed to organise the running of the library.

“However, around 60 people are needed if the service is to continue to operate over 30 hours a week, as it does at present.

“The committee are looking forward to tailoring the new service to Silsden’s needs including the possibility of delivering books to the elderly and providing more activities for local school children as well as enabling other items, such as tourist information, to be on display.”

Anyone willing to give at least an hour a fortnight should email janetemmett@talktalk.net or call Janet on 07443 333531.

 

 

Posted in Library, News

“Pennypinching” savings will hit Silsden and Haworth the hardest

Politicians representing Keighley villages have blasted the ongoing cuts to Bradford Council-owned amenities in their wards.

The district councillors claim the forced savings on public halls, toilets, tourist centres and bowling greens are unnecessary attacks on life in rural communities.

They believe it is unfair of City Hall to expect hard-pressed village residents to take on the running of many services facing the axe.

The councillors, who represent Worth Valley and Craven wards, have called on Bradford’s Labour rulers to protect village life by targeting spending cuts on items Bradford city centre.

The rural councillors spoke out this week after Bradford Council voted for the latest round of cuts, which will see savings of £32 million in the 2017/18 financial year.

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen, who represents the Worth Valley ward, said local people and groups were already looking at the feasibility of taking over Holden Hall, the Haworth toilets and the visitor centre.

But she warned that not all facilities were suitable to be managed by the public.

She said: “I think it’s absolutely shocking to expect someone will magically come in and fund things. How can volunteers pay the lease on a tourist centre?

“Holden Hall can be run very well by the public, but how can they run the toilets? It’s crucial that we have toilets in Haworth, it’s something visitors rely on.”

Cllr Adrian Naylor, who represents Craven ward, branded spending on such items as solar-powered bins and heritage flags as an “incredible waste of money” when rural areas were being hit.

 

 

He said: “The council has sold the old Silsden library building, the public toilet block and strips of land above the park. It’s clear that assets are being sold in rural areas and the funding used elsewhere.

“There’s a lot of money being taken out of Silsden, so why don’t we see a proportion being brought back to Silsden to run these community facilities? We are getting rid of the assets at a time when we need them more than ever due to new housing.”

Andrew Mallinson, another Craven ward councillor, said council leaders had failed to listen to the concerns of councillors about facilities in outlying areas.

 

 

He said: “The rural communities are being hardest-hit at the expense of mainly leisure developments for the middle of Bradford.

“There are other savings that could still be made by the council that would safeguard the small amounts it takes for public toilets, public halls and bowling greens. In many cases it’s penny-pinching.”

 

Posted in Library, Maintenance, News, Town Hall

Community plans to take over Silsden Library are moving ahead with the formation of a steering group

Community plans to take over Silsden Library are moving ahead with the formation of a steering group.

The hope is that the group will develop into an ‘accountable body’ able to take over responsibility for the library from Bradford Council.

Dozens of residents have already volunteered to staff the library, in the Silsden Town Hall, but there is a need for a body to officially manage the facility.

Around 15 local residents, including town councillors Rebecca Whitaker and Michael O’Dwyer, attended a meeting earlier this month to discuss setting up the accountable body.

Bradford Council officers outlined the responsibilities residents would have to take on.

Cllr Whitaker said about half a dozen people put themselves forward to join the steering group, and would probably meet again in a fortnight.

She said: “Out of that maybe some of the members of the steering group will come on to the accountable body. I think they’ve got someone willing to coordinate the volunteers.

“They’ve got the volunteers for the library but they can’t train them until there is an agreement between the accountable body and Bradford Council.”

“It was very productive meeting with Bradford Council and lots of good questions were asked.”

Bradford Council has inviting residents in several villages, including Silsden, and, to take on the running of their local libraries to save them from closure following public spending cuts.

The situation in Silsden is complicated because the library is in the Town Hall, which Bradford also hopes to hand over to the local community.

Town and district councillor Adrian Naylor this week warned that, through no fault of Silsden residents, the library transfer process was taking too long.

He added: “What we’ve seen is a series of meetings that have been pushed back and pushed back, and we now have approximately a month left.

“We should have been training people for several months.”

 

Posted in Facilities, Library

A report on the consultation for the proposed New Silsden Primary School

A report on the consultation for the proposed New Silsden Primary School

by David Loud

Well, tonight’s event was very interesting. Overall, the vast majority of people that I spoke to from 6pm to 7.30pm were wholly in favour of Silsden having a new school as a single Primary to replace the existing Junior & Infant schools. This would bring Silsden into line with the rest of the schools and the educational set-up across the rest of the Bradford District and wider afield.

There was however very vocal objections to the location of the school and in particular the location of the school with regards to traffic management.

Firstly, we were informed that there were 6 separate locations that were considered by a small committee. The committee discussed the various sites with planning, highways, local councillors and other ‘interested’ parties. All sites were rejected with the exception of the proposed site. What local representation was there at these discussions, and where were the local councillors tonight who played a part in the preliminary discussions; there were a lot of local people who were raising very real concerns regarding this whole issue which will impact on a very large percentage of the population of Silsden. Adrian Naylor did attend earlier in the day but there certainly wasn’t any further local council representation that made their presence known.

The alternative site that seems to have had the greatest local support where the old Weavestyle factory stood never even made it into the 6 primary sites for discussion. This decision was made on the grounds that the landowner was in discussions with a Supermarket chain (Tesco), and the cost to purchase the land was deemed to be excessive. In my opinion, a piece of land is only worth the price that an individual or business is willing to pay for it, and what planning will allow being built on it has the biggest influence in what the actual value is. Why then did local planning approve the development of this site for such use when they knew that the site of a new school was desperately needed. Why was this site not re-examined when the Tesco deal fell through?

The answer is, because they already had a piece of land that had been purchased back in the 70’s for educational purposes, and any further purchase of land in the same area for a larger school provision would not be as costly as this alternative location. In other words, the decision was on the major part, a financial decision and not on what was best for Silsden or it’ Children’s education.

Well, the land is now purchased and whatever any of us say, the school will end up being built on the new site. Common sense will not prevail. The team looking at moving the project forward were only told to go ahead in December 2016. They have a budget of approx. £8 million and the intention is for the school to be complete for the Autumn 2019.

Tonight, the team were presenting 4 proposals for traffic management. All 4 options will funnel traffic that is presently diluted across the two existing schools to the one single school. It is fair to say that the concentration of traffic will increase substantially. Additionally, the access routes to the new school are far more limited and restricted when compared to the present network feeding the existing schools. Not only will the traffic be more concentrated, but the proposed routes use a number of junctions that any sensible person would consider dangerous just for the amount of traffic that uses them at the moment for purely residential use, never mind the school run. A traffic survey is likely to take place in the next couple of months. The representatives could not confirm if the report would be made available, or put out for further consultation. A traffic survey could not be carried out previously because that would have incurred a cost, for a project that hadn’t been given the go ahead or a budget. So in other words, let’s buy a plot of land and see what we need to do to make sure it works – has a distinctive whiff of ‘Chicken & Egg’ to me.

The school will be built to have provision for 600 pupils. The present ruling is that the school can only be built based on the present demand of pupil numbers, and it will NOT allow the school to be built from the start on what are projected numbers for the future (even though the number of houses being built in the area is set to rise further). The design of the school, however, will make provision for expansion in the future, should it be needed, to allow for up to 800 pupils, increasing the existing traffic issues by a further 33% on present amounts. Where is common sense – get it sorted now because as sure as day follows night space will be needed.

The school will sit centrally running left to right on the plot shown in the photo posted earlier by Midway, and is likely to be a two-storey structure. The plans have not been drawn up yet for the actual design. The area below or to the south of the school will form the outdoor play and sports area. The topography of the ground shows a difference in levels from top to bottom to be 10m. I know the present outdoor sports provision for the schools is poor but surely it is not beyond the whit of man to be able to provide a level playing area for sports.

There will be no provision for a swimming pool. The existing pool will remain in situ on the present Hothfield School Site and will be safeguarded if the land is developed so long as there are parties interested in retaining and running the pool facility. This would probably be achieved by some sort of Asset Transfer but the discussions for that have not taken place as yet.

The school is likely to be over two floors and the school will be built out of allocated council budget funding rather than the PFI type schemes that have seen other schools in the area being built. The good thing about that is that the team looking after the build detail can ensure that fixtures, fitting and other provision in the building can be properly specified and fit for purpose, which hasn’t necessarily been the case in some of the previously mentioned schemes.

If you have any comments or concerns that you feel need to be raised, the council have a document that can be completed but must be returned to them by 17th February.

Could I ask that all the local councillors on both the Town Council, Bradford Council and our local MP confirm their opinions on the proposals so we can judge them on their position on this matter?

Hope that helps and I welcome comments from anyone else who attended who came away with a different perspective.

Posted in News, Schools

Silsden Neighbourhood Watch

Posted in Neighbourhood Watch, News

The draft neighbourhood plan and associated maps – 2017

Steeton, Eastburn and Silsden Neighbourhood Development Plan 2017 – 2030, with associated maps

A formal consultation on the content of the draft Neighbourhood Plan will run for 6 weeks from 3rd February to 17th March. The plan will be available on this page by 3rd February. 

There will be two drop-in events when the public can discuss the plan with councillors, these will be on:

Saturday 4th February at Silsden Methodist Church Hall, in Kirkgate, from 10 to 1 pm,

and on

Saturday 18th February at the HUB, Skipton Road, Steeton from 10 to 1 pm.

 

DOCUMENTS

Consultation reply form

The plan

Associated maps

Planning policy assessment

Strategic Environmental/Habitat Regulations Screening

The Neighbourhood Development Plan has been screened for the purposes of Strategic Environmental Assessment/Habitat Regulations a copy of the screening report is available here. The previous screening had highlighted heritage issues that could have necessitated a full Strategic Environmental Assessment. Historic England were consulted on the revised screening and a copy of their response is available here.”

 

 

 

Posted in Neighbourhood Plan, News

Anger as packed public meeting vows to fight Silsden Town Hall closure plans

Over a hundred people packed into a public meeting as the battle to save Silsden Town Hall got underway in earnest.

Angry residents voiced their opposition to Bradford Council plans to hive-off the historic building to volunteers – or close it.

Ray Colling – chairman of the Friends of Silsden Town Hall, which organised Monday night’s meeting – praised the “terrific” turnout.

He said the attendance – and the fact the Kirkgate building was in use by several groups that evening alone – showed how much demand there was for the facility.

The public gathered in an upstairs room at the premises, which is one of seven community halls across the district threatened with closure as the council seeks to slash £82 million from its budget.

“The Friends was formed two years ago to raise the profile of the town hall and usage of the building has increased dramatically,” said Mr Colling.

“The hall is in use by groups and for events all the time and it’s our intention to develop that further.

“We are passionate about the building and its importance to the community and we are unanimously against these proposals.”

Fellow Friends’ member Wendy Neville said the immediate aim was to get the closure threat lifted and then to work with the council on further strengthening the provision.

“It’s not on for a group of volunteers to be expected to take on the full responsibility of running and maintaining the building,” she said.

“We want to work with Bradford Council and the community to develop what we have.

“The people of Silsden very much value this community resource and don’t want to lose it.”

Post-it notes and pens were distributed to those present as suggestions were sought on how the hall could be made more viable.

Resident Danny Clarke said the town hall was Silsden’s “jewel in the crown”.

“I have had ties to the building since I was a kid – I went to karate here as a child and my sister attended the majorettes – and now my own young daughter is at dance club,” he said.

“It’s such an important place.

“What will happen to the young people – and the older people – of the town who use the building and rely on it?

“Everyone needs to get behind this campaign and support it 100 per cent.”

Fears were expressed that with more housing planned in Silsden, demand for the town hall’s facilities would only increase.

Long-time resident Eric Waddington said: “When I came to Silsden the population was only about 4,000 but in the next year or two we’ll have over 10,000 people – and yet we have fewer amenities in the town.”

Mrs Neville added that a petition had been launched as part of the campaign, which had attracted about 800 signatures in just a week. The aim was to gather 1,500 names so it could go before full council.

Bradford Council is currently carrying out a public consultation on its budget proposals, which would also affect facilities including public toilets and libraries.

People can have their say at bradford.gov.uk.

The consultation runs until February 12.

Posted in Facilities, News

Bradford Council’s Stockbridge depot falls victim to proposed budget cuts

Keighley and Worth Valley councillors have spoken of their fears for road safety and maintenance in the district if a council depot in Keighley succumbs to budget cuts.

As part of Bradford Council proposals to try and slash £82 million from its budget, the Stockbridge Depot, off Royd Ings Avenue, could see its staff and equipment shifted elsewhere.

The report to the district council, which summarises the recommended measures for the budget, warns: “The impact of the closure of the depot at Stockbridge and the consequent impact on winter maintenance operations will need to be carefully considered within the context of winter gritting routes and treatment programmes.”

It proposes reducing the number of operational bases used by Bradford Council’s Highways Delivery Unit, Traffic & Road Safety and Highway Maintenance teams by relocating staff, plant and materials from Stockbridge depot to other bases.

The report comments: “Winter maintenance operations would be significantly impacted by the reduction in operational bases, meaning longer times being necessary to grit the routes in the district, potentially meaning that areas in the north of the district may be untreated in periods of inclement weather.”

Reacting to the threat to the depot, Worth Valley ward councillor Russell Brown said: “This will significantly reduce the effectiveness of our highways team to undertake highway repairs, upgrades and winter gritting to the Shipley, Keighley and Ilkley areas, and so increase, delays, costs and complaints.

“Local Emergency Resilience Capacity could be completely compromised, with equipment and staff stuck at the other side of the city with the attendant risk to life and property.”

Cllr Brown said he did not think Bradford Council would close the whole depot, but warned that if Highways services currently based there end up on the far side of Bradford instead, Keighley will still lose out.

Keighley West ward councillor Brian Morris said Stockbridge Depot dates back to the time when Keighley had its own borough council.

He said he feared that if this established facility is downgraded highways issues in the Keighley area will receive even slower responses.

“They deal with flytipping from there and gritting vehicles leave from the depot too,” he said.

“There are a lot of things which could end up being affected. Whatever does happen to the depot will have a negative impact on the efficiency of work done in Keighley.

“What Bradford Council is doing is pulling everything into the middle of Bradford, so outlying parts of the district are suffering.

“Keighley is the biggest town in the district, so we feel the effect even more.”

Bradford Council has said it has already had to find more than £250 million in savings and increased income over the past six years due to imposed funding cuts from central government, rising demand for services and increasing costs.

It argues that it now faces “extremely difficult decisions” to close Bradford’s £82 million funding gap over the next four years.

The full programme of proposed budget cuts, which is now out to public consultation, is available to view and respond to via the Bradford Council website.

 

Posted in B. M. D.C, Facilities, Maintenance, News
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