District police chief determined to “re-build” visible neighbourhood policing


New district police chief Scott Bisset says he is determined to “re-build” visible neighbourhood policing alongside protecting the most vulnerable members of communities.

District-police-chief-Scott-BissetChief Superintendent Bisset outlined his priorities for the next year after a month in his new role.

After joining the force as a police constable in Keighley 21 years ago, he moved from head of the programme of change at West Yorkshire Police headquarters to succeed the recently retired Simon Atkin.

Chief Supt Bisset said: “The face of policing is changing and has changed. That is evident when you look at the work we focus on and where we deploy our resources. It is very much about protecting the vulnerable, safeguarding, domestic abuse, CSE and all the headline-grabbers over the last few years.

“It’s not just talk, it is evident in the amount of resources that have gone to those areas, and it’s the right thing to do.

“That has come at a cost, and that cost has been around dedicated neighbourhood policing. That is going to be the real challenge.

“All local communities will tell you that it’s the neighbourhood policing bit that people see, and the challenge for us is to do the best with the resources we’ve got to reassure people that it still exists, to see that we are there in times of need.”

Bradford district’s new commander said that after a period of “extremely minimal” recruitment over the last five years, the force was now taking on and training new officers to serve on the frontline.

“We are looking to rebuild very visible neighbourhood policing, PCSOs and all that goes with it,” he said.

“We are re-investing in the frontline, organisationally that is where the money is going.

“I see the potential to re-build neighbourhood policing, probably different to what it was before, but certainly to strengthen it from where it has been over the past couple of years.

“It will be different, but I want communities to have the confidence that we will act. People do want the police to be visible. I have been out on the streets speaking to people and they will tell you ‘we do like seeing you’.

“I think we have strong community cohesion and communities do work well together. We have really strong relationships with the majority of communities. With our investment in neighbourhood policing we will absolutely do our utmost, but there will be a role for the community as well, local people having the confidence to take on issues with our support.”

Chief Supt Bisset praised the success of Operation Steerside, which has seen more than 6,000 illegal and dangerous motorists snared since it began in February.

“Operation Steerside has been great,” he said.

“Really importantly for me, it has been about getting the public firmly behind it. We have been guilty in the past of doing a lot of good work and not telling people about it.

“It is such a community concern and it’s a really important operation in keeping people safe. We’re not looking to take resources back from that.

“It is very much a community-based operation and what we are seeing is really good information coming in from the public now, and I would encourage more of that. We are really only as good as the relationships we have with our communities.”


Posted in News

Silsden Post Office Move

In October 2015 Andrew Cathey, our postmaster for the last 25 years said he would be handing his notice in.

The postmaster of the Kirkgate facility, Andrew Cathey, said he intends to hand in his notice in about a month’s time.

Mr Cathey, 62, who has been postmaster for 25 years, said he would have liked to have continued until he was 65, but added he was effectively being “forced out”.

“They’ve cut my wage down and there is more going out than coming in – for the past six months, I’ve been really struggling,” he said.

Now (Dec 2016),  it’s hoped Silsden Post Office can be moved down the street to Twiggs Newsagents.

The Post Office would like your views on the proposed move. 

You can take the survey and provide your views on the move  by clicking here You have until 30 January 2017 to provide your views. 

You can take the survey and provide your views on the move  by clicking here You have until 30 January 2017 to provide your views. 


Posted in Facilities, News, Post Office

Bradford’s risk of flooding is due to be signed off

A “VERY late” assessment of Bradford’s risk of flooding is due to be signed off by Council bosses on Tuesday.

And opposition councillors say they still fear the authority is not taking the threat of flooding seriously enough.

Legislation introduced in 2010 required local authorities to create and publish a Flood Risk Management Strategy by March of this year.

The opposition Conservatives had called for Bradford Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Val Slater, to resign over Bradford’s failure to meet the deadline, saying it could jeopardise the district’s chances of getting flood protection funding.

Now the strategy has been through a public consultation and is due to be adopted.

Councillor Simon Cooke, the leader of the Conservatives, said: “It is good news it has finally arrived but it is very, very late.

“We are one of the last authorities to actually produce this strategy and I still worry that the Council is a little complacent about the significance of flood risk.” He said he feared there could be a repeat of the Boxing Day floods if the district suffered another sustained bout of wet weather.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “The Boxing Day floods were on an unprecedented scale but of course you cannot completely eliminate the risk of flooding during sustained bad weather, which is why we’ve been working with the public and community groups throughout the year to help them become more flood resilient.

“There’s no single answer to minimising the likelihood and impact of flooding but the Flood Risk Management Strategy is another tool in the Council’s armoury.”

The new strategy has four aims:

  1. getting a better understanding of the flood risk so works can be prioritisedView Post
  2. allowing authorities and communities to work in partnership to manage flood risk
  3. ensuring emergency plans are effective and communities can recover quickly after flooding, and
  4. guiding planning and preventing inappropriate development.

The document says a succession of Atlantic storms last November and December caused “unprecedented” flooding in the district, with all four large main rivers – the Aire, Wharfe, Worth and Silsden Beck – bursting their banks simultaneously for the first time.

More than 1,000 homes were flooded and the estimated financial cost was £18m to residential properties and £15.5m to businesses.

It adds: “The personal impact on Bradford residents and communities is still being felt and long-term health impacts cannot yet be quantified.”

The district has been awarded £2.5m to repair the highway infrastructure after the winter floods.

In October, Yorkshire’s regional flood and the coastal committee also agreed to fund £850,000 of flood prevention work by Bradford Council and the Environment Agency.

This will be used partly to fund small-scale ‘quick win’ projects such as debris removal and riverbank works, as well as drawing up detailed bids for a further £8m of funding to pay for 15 large schemes aimed at protecting five areas hit by the flooding in December.

These are Silsden Beck, Keighley and Stockbridge, Bingley and Airedale, Baildon and Shipley and Esholt and Apperley Bridge.

Posted in Floods, Infrastructure, News

A secure future of Silsden Youth and Community Centre

People power secures future of Silsden Youth and Community Centre

T&A titlepieceA community centre will officially reopen next month following eight months of work by volunteers.

A group of residents took over Silsden Youth Centre on April 1 in order to keep it open following Bradford Council spending cuts.

The building in Elliot Street has been renamed Silsden Youth and Community Centre to promote its use by people of all ages in the town.

The reopening ceremony takes place on December 11 as part of a Christmas party running from 11am to 4pm.

Jill Cook, director of Silsden Youth Community Interest Company which runs the centre, said:

“Volunteers have been working hard to make sure that the building is maintained and that people started to use the facility.

“So far we have hired the centre to Sports Coaching England which has run three Sports Camp weeks and will be running another Christmas-themed Sports Camp holidays.

“Rugbytots have started to use the facility this month and several people have hired the centre for children’s parties. Bricks4Kids ran ‘The Best Week Ever’.”

Early next year Gem Compliance will run first aid courses, including its new Flat Stan first aid for children course.

Mrs Cook added:

“The Youth Club continues to use the facility and it is supporting us by helping with the current refurbishment in the main room.”

The volunteers are carrying out the refurbishment with materials donated by firms in the area while companies including Morrisons have donated items for the Christmas party.

Residents came together in February to save the centre after Bradford Council decided to pull out at the end of the 2015/16 financial year.

An initial public meeting brought together people who already ran children’s activities, and a martial arts group in Silsden.

They were supported by Councillor Adrian Naylor (Ind, Craven) to set up a group with a constitution, which could approach Bradford Council about taking over responsibility.

The Council agreed to continue providing youth workers in Silsden, but could not afford to run the building itself.

Silsden mayor Peter Robinson will perform the ceremony on December 11 and characters Elsa and Olaf from the Disney film Frozen will meet and greet children from 11am until 1pm.

Anyone willing to fund a project at the centre should call Jill Cook on 07794 366439.


Posted in Activities, Facilities, News, Youth Club

Townspeople to take over Silsden library


A community attempt to take over the threatened Silsden Library began in earnest this month.

adriannaylorLocal councillor Adrian Naylor has revived his recruitment campaign for a team of volunteers to run the library in the town hall.

Bradford Council has pledged to pay the majority of the running costs even after handing control of the service to townspeople.

It plans to run training courses from February for volunteers willing to take over administration and staffing of the service from next April.

The council will provide books from its district-wide stock, pay the utility bills, provide the building at a peppercorn rent, and give access to the Library Service computer system.

Cllr Naylor, who serves on both Silsden and Bradford councils, this week welcomed the latest developments in the campaign.

He said: “This could see the library running at very little cost if any. This is a much-improved offer on what was available when we converted Addingham public library to community use six years ago.

“We’re not faced with having to raise large amounts of revenue to run the library – we face the difficulty of making sure we have enough volunteers to keep it open. It’s workable if we can get the volunteers.”

Cllr Naylor spoke after he and fellow ward councillors met with the officers from Bradford Library Service, Keighley Area Coordinator’s office and the council’s Halls and Venues department.

He said: “At the meeting, we were advised training would start in February for people interested in becoming volunteers. I expressed concern that this was late in the process, from my experience setting up Addingham Community Library.”

Bradford last year voted to close a number of small libraries across the district to save money but offered to let residents take them over.

Cllr Naylor, who is still involved in running the Addingham library, spearheaded attempts last February to recruit potential volunteers in Silsden.

At the time he said around 30 people would be needed to staff the service on a rota.

Cllr Naylor this week said the original recruitment campaign had been successful, and he hoped those volunteers were still willing to become involved.

He said those who had signed up last February would soon be contacted by the Library Service to check whether they were still interested.

He added: “If anyone else wishes to be a volunteer, then please contact me at adrian.naylor@bradford.gov.uk.”

Alternatively, people can contact Mandy Webb at the Library Service by calling 07582 102861 or emailing mandy.webb@bradford.gov.uk.


Posted in Facilities, Library, News, Wesley Place & Library

PLAN-IT Newsletter October 2016





Posted in B. M. D.C, L. Development Framework, News

Furious row breaks out as minister steps in to halt Bradford Council’s controversial development plan

T&A titlepiece

A Government minister has stepped in to pause a controversial development blueprint, after Shipley’s MP raised fears about the scale of building in the green belt.

But Bradford Council bosses have responded with anger, accusing Philip Davies of jeopardising the very fields he sought to protect.

The Council’s executive was today poised to back the core strategy of its Local Plan, which includes controversial proposals to build 11,000 homes on green belt land by 2030.

But in a dramatic twist, planning minister Gavin Barwell has told the authority to halt all proceedings while the Government investigates concerns raised by Conservative MP Mr Davies.

The delay has provoked angry responses with Council leader, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, accusing Mr Davies of “a completely irresponsible abuse of power”.

Mr Davies had lobbied Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to intervene after a Government planning inspector effectively ratified the Council’s strategy last month.

In particular, Mr Davies raised concerns about the loss of green belt which was being proposed for Wharfedale.

He said the plan should include rules that developers have to build on all available brownfield land before moving into the green belt.

And he said the core strategy would only bring back into use 3,000 of the 7,700 empty homes in the district.

Mr Barwell has told Bradford Council to stop all work on adopting the plan, while Communities Secretary Mr Javid looks into the matter and decides whether to intervene.

At the meeting of the Labour-run Council’s executive, an angry Cllr Hinchcliffe said the inspector had already listened to Mr Davies’ views and had decided to back the plan.

She said: “This is him taking his bat and ball home and triggering a process that is going to eat up the time and energy of the Government and the Council and will end up with nothing changing.”

The authority’s portfolio holder for planning, Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, added: “This is an absolutely pathetic stunt, to be honest.

Posted in Development, L. Development Framework, Neighbourhood Plan, News

Bradford Core Strategy Development Plan Document: Publication of Inspectors Report

This report provides the Inspectors findings, recommendations and conclusions (and the reasons behind these).  The Council is accordingly now publishing and making available the Inspectors Report and Appendix containing the Main Modifications required to make the plan sound and capable of adoption.

Availability of Documents

The Inspectors Report and Appendix are available to view on the Council’s website


Posted in Bypass, Development, Infrastructure, L. Development Framework, Neighbourhood Plan

Silsden is to get a new primary school on a greenfield site on the outskirts of town

From Keighley News


Silsden is to get a new primary school on a greenfield site on the outskirts of town.

The new campus, above Daisy Hill and Silsden Park, will bring together the existing Hothfield Junior School and Aire View Infants School.

The complex, due to be open by 2018, will solve existing overcrowding problems and help meet future demand from families moving into the 1,200 new homes planned for Silsden over the next few years.

Silsden councillor Adrian Naylor today exclusively revealed the location of the school site to the Keighley News following the council’s recent purchase of land bordering Banklands Lane and Hawber Cote Lane, off Bolton Road.

The newly-bought land will form half the school site, with the other half taking up an existing site owned by Bradford Council since it put forward plans for a middle school several decades ago.

This council land lies off Middleway and Aireville Mount, above a belt of land accessed off Daisy Hill and earmarked for housing.


Cllr Naylor, who is both a Bradford and Silsden councillor, said parents of children at Aire View and Hothfield were due to be sent letters either tonight or tomorrow.

He said: “The letter says the council has completed the acquisition of land and is now moving along to start the process with the two schools merging in September 2017.” “At the end of the week the council will appoint a design team to start work on the new facility. “I’ve offered to host a public meeting when the designers have some thoughts to share, so that local people know what designs are being considered before they reach the planning stage. “The council expects to go to the planning committee at some point next year, possibly springtime. We’re looking at a 2018/2019 timeframe for the school to open. “Part of completion is moving equipment which is why the council usual likes moving through the summer holidays, but it hasn’t ruled out moving one part of the school in first and the other one later.”

News of the new school’s location was revealed following behind-closed-door discussions yesterday by Bradford Council’s ruling Executive.

Executive members approved the proposed merger of the existing schools, planned for September next year and previously the subject of public consultation.

They also allocated funding for the new Silsden school complex from the council’s Basic Needs education fund. The cost of the school remains confidential.

Ward councillors were today emailed the location of the new school, and heads, governors and parents were due to be notified of the next 24 hours.

The choice of school site comes after many months of research involving Bradford Council officers and ward councillors to assess several potential sites in the Silsden area.

It is as yet unknown where the entrance to the school will be located, but there are potential access points on two sides, from Middleway/Aireville Mount and Banklands Lane/Hawber Cote Lane.

Several months ago Bradford Council unveiled plans for the two existing schools to merge into one primary school in September 2017.

The new ‘Hothfield Primary School’ will continue to use the two existing sites – in the centre of Silsden – until the new campuses built.

The council has earmarked Silsden for 1,200 new houses over the next 15 years as part of its Local Plan, and planning applications have been submitted in recent months for several hundred houses on various sites across the town.

Posted in Development, Infrastructure, L. Development Framework, Neighbourhood Plan, News, Schools

Affordable Housing Cut in Silsden and Steeton?

From an article published in the Keighley News


A housing developer wants to cut the amount of planned social housing in Eastburn by a third.

Bid to slash affordable housing in Eastburn prompts call for policy review.

Miller Homes will today ask Bradford Council to reduce the number of affordable houses earmarked for its 147-home estate from 29 to 20.

The application, for the site off Main Road next to Airedale Hospital, has prompted a ward councillor to call for a review of the council’s social housing strategy.


Craven ward councillor Adrian Naylor said Miller Homes’s request highlighted a serious problem that could affect future efforts to increase the amount of affordable housing in villages across the district.

He says many social landlords, such as housing associations, cannot afford to take on such properties because the Government’s rent cap limits how much they can charge tenants.

Developers of major housing projects are expected to build a certain proportion of affordable housing, as part of their section 106 contributions to local services.

The homes are often sold at a reduced price to a social landlord, who will then rent them to young people who have grown up in the villages or work locally but cannot afford market prices to buy homes.

The problem, according to Cllr Naylor, is that banks will not lend social landlords money to buy the houses because the subsequent rents would not cover the loan repayments.

A report due to be discussed today by Bradford’s regulatory and appeals committee states that Miller Homes approached 15 ‘registered providers’ but not one was willing to take on 29 affordable homes.

One has offered to pay £1.56 million for 20 of the units, a mix of two and three-bedroom homes, which could then be offered for rent or shared ownership.

Housing officers regard the offer as “well-founded and justified”, taking into account the significant financial constraints being experienced by registered providers in the current climate.

Cllr Naylor said: “If the economy is causing social landlords not to be able to build properties in the more expensive areas, then we need an urgent review of Bradford Council’s social housing policy.

“We could end up seeing areas such as Silsden, Steeton and Eastburn having a high number of executive homes, but no affordable homes to go with them.

“Young people will lose the ability to live where they were born and bred, or work. This could be a problem for years to come.”


Posted in Development, L. Development Framework, News