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,
Saturday 18th February at the HUB, Skipton Road, Steeton from 10 to 1 pm.
Consultation reply form
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.”
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.
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.
New district police chief Scott Bisset says he is determined to “re-build” visible neighbourhood policing alongside protecting the most vulnerable members of communities.
Chief 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.”
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.
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.
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:
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.
A 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.
Local 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 email@example.com.”
Alternatively, people can contact Mandy Webb at the Library Service by calling 07582 102861 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.