NEWS FROM KEIGHLEY TOWN COUNCIL DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR
INVESTING IN OUR WOODLAND Guardhouse Urban Woodland Project
SPRING IS IN STEVE’S SAFE HANDS New town square contract
KEIGHLEY CIVIC CENTRE Have your say
Mayor’s Charitable Trust • Saving lives • It’s a NEET idea • Young achievers
ANNUAL TOWN MEETING 7.00pm Thursday April 21 2016 Will be held in the Banqueting Suite Keighley Civic Centre North Street, Keighley
UNDER THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF COUNCILLOR JAVAID AKHTAR
• Do you want to know what your Town Council is doing? • Have you got any questions or suggestions?
• Are there any local issues which are causing concern? • Want to know how your money is being spent?
• This is your chance to have a say on your town, find out what the Town Council has already achieved and hear its plans for the future.
• Come along and take part in the public consultation by having your say on the future of your civic centre. You will also have the opportunity to quiz town councillors on any concerns or queries you have on the future of Keighley.
Light refreshments will be provided.
ME ALONG AND SO WHY NOT CO YOUR TOWN FIND OUT WHAT G FOR YOU? COUNCIL IS DOIN For more information please contact the Town Clerk's office on 01535 618252/3
KEIGHLEY TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS 2015/16 2015-2016: Keighley Town Mayor, Cllr Javaid Akhtar; Deputy Town Mayor Cllr Gary Pedley
Cllr Amjid Ahmed
Chaudhury Tariq Mahmood
Cllr Javaid Akhtar
Cllr Luke Maunsell
Cllr Gary Pedley
Cllr Mark Curtis
Cllr Barry Thorne
Cllr Samuel Fletcher
Cllr Amjad Zaman
Cllr John Kirby
Cllr Shabir Ahmed
Cllr Shazad Mahmood
Cllr Nasar Ali
Cllr Mohammed Nazam
Cllr Peter Corkindale
Cllr Philip Shaw
Cllr Julie Adams
Cllr Michael Westerman
Cllr Tufail Khan
Cllr Fulzar Ahmed
Choudhry A Mahmood
Cllr Kaneez Akhtar
Cllr Anayat Mohammed
Cllr Fatima Bibi
Cllr Christopher Herd
Cllr Ian Dermondy
Cllr Andrea Walker
Cllr Gulfraz Hussain
Cllr Sohail Zubair
Lawkholme & Showfield Ward Woodhouse & Hainworth Ward Oakworth Ward
Bracken Bank & Ingrow Ward Laycock & Braithwaite Ward Spring Gardens & Utley Ward Town Ward
Fell Lane & Westburn Ward Morton & Sandbeds Ward
Spring Gardens & Utley Ward Long Lee & Parkwood Ward Bogthorn & Exley Ward Guard House Ward
Riddlesden & Stockbridge Ward
Morton & Sandbeds Ward Oakworth Ward
Fell Lane & Westburn Ward Brackenbak & Ingrow Ward Lawkholme & Showfield Ward Highfield Ward
Knowle Park Ward Oakworth Ward
Fell Lane & Westburn Ward Woodhouse & Hainworth Ward Long Lee & Parkwood Ward Spring Gardens & Utley Ward Brackenbank & Ingrow Ward Riddlesden & Stockbridge Ward Riddlesden & Stockbridge Ward
For information on how to contact individual councillors, please contact KTC at the address below or call 01535 618252. Details can also be found on the Keighley Town Council website www.keighley.gov.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW COUNCIL ELECTED MAY 2015
The start of the new civic year (May 2015) saw a new influx of councillors serve on Keighley Town Council in an election year. Six candidates contested four town council wards which required elections. However six vacant seats were filled by Co-option which the Council filled in June 2015. Through the civic year, the Council received resignations for Councillor Firth and Roberts who stepped down for personal reasons. A by-election was held for Bracken Bank and Ingrow which saw Councillor Herd elected for the ward and the vacancy for Fell Lane and Westburn was filled by Co-option in January 2016 which saw Julie Adams Co-opted onto the Council. A further resignation has been received for Councillor Barbara Archer, who represented Woodhouse and Hainworth, the process for a casual vacancy has now been instigated. For further information contact the Town Clerk's Office.
CONTENTS | 3
Comment Welcome to your new look Keighley newsletter – KTC Connect – designed to help us keep you informed with what’s going on at Keighley Council. KTC Connect will not only be delivered to your door, but it will also be available online at www.keighley.gov.uk/documents – perfect if you’ve misplaced your print edition. This edition we’re getting ready for spring with our feature on Investing in Our Woodland. We talk to Allotments Officer, Lee Senior, who takes us behind the muddy scenes at the Guardhouse Urban Woodland Project. He’s helped to secure over £40,000 to make the dream of an urban woodland off North Dean Road become a reality, which should dramatically improve the appearance of the area. Still on the theme of spring, we also talk to new contractor, Steve Thorpe, who will be in charge of looking after our Town Hall Square’s green spaces. Steve told KTC Connect that it’s an honour to take on the three-year contract and that he’s looking forward to his favourite time of year – spring – and the burst of colour it brings. Plus there’s also news on the Mayor’s Charitable Trust, an update on the future of the Civic Centre, photographs from Remembrance Day and much, much more! We hope you like your new look newsletter. Please feel free to tell us what you think, or send any suggestions for future features to email@example.com. Safia Kauser Editor & Town Clerk
CONTRIBUTOR Lee Senior Allotments Officer
PUBLISHER Keighley Town Council Keighley Civic Centre North Street, Keighley, BD21 3RZ Telephone: 01535 618252 MAGAZINE PRODUCTION & PRINTING Dean Cook The Magazine Production Company Information correct at time of going to press. May be subject to change. All rights reserved and is the property of the publisher. © Keighley Borough Council 2016. Reprinting any part or matter appearing in KTC Connect is strictly forbidden except by permission of the publisher. All copyright of images/content remains that of its photographer/author. Every effort has been made to gain permission to publish copyright material however, where efforts have been exhausted, we have published on the basis of ‘Fair Use’ to comment factual based material where by its use is not central or plays a significant part to the entire publication but to act as an aid for historical and educational purposes only. This publication is offered as a limited print run. The publisher makes every effort to ensure that the magazine’s contents are correct. However, it cannot take responsibility for any effects from errors or omissions. Keighley Borough Council does not accept any responsibility or liability for any of the services or products provided by the advertisers.
We bring you the latest news on our audit reports, the future of the Civic Centre, how we survived the floods and our pledge to restore openness and transparency.
EDITOR Safia Kauser Town Clerk/RFO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SUB-EDITOR Jackie Annett
YOUR KEIGHLEY COUNCIL NEWS
THE MAYOR’S CHARITABLE TRUST
The Mayor’s Charitable Trust launched in July 2015 and this year we’ll be supporting the Maternity & Neonatel Unit at Airedale General Hospital. Turn to page 5 to read more about how the charity supports parents and families through a difficult, worrying and sometimes distressing time.
INVESTING IN OUR WOODLAND
Lee Senior takes us behind the scenes at the Guardhouse Urban Woodland Project.
IN REMEMBRANCE Images from Keighley’s Remembrance Day Service.
The last few months have been busy for councillors and we bring you a round-up of news from your community. Councillors have been installing defribilators to save lives, helping host our Armed Forces Day and working hard to source the best contractor to ensure our Town Hall Square green spaces look the best.
WHAT'S ON KEIGHLEY
From Clean Up Days to our Young Achiever Awards, a lot’s been happening in Keighley over the last couple of months. Take a look at our guide of what’s been going on in your local area and what we have to look forward to.
SAVING YOU MONEY
We talk you through the Keighley Council budget 2016 in detail.
ELECTION RESULTS MAY 2015
Your full list of council members for 2016. SPRING 2016 | KTCConnect
4 | COUNCIL NEWS
UPDATE ON OUR AUDIT REPORTS Following the Public Interest Report issued on 5th November 2014 and the Internal Audit Report issued in October 2014, a significant amount of work has been carried out. This has addressed approximately 50 recommendations that came out of both reports. Further internal audit reports were issued by the internal auditor who confirmed the Council was making satisfactory progress in addressing the recommendations and embedding the new policies into everyday working practice. For further updates and reports on our progress take a look at the council’s website www.keighley.gov.uk
KEIGHLEY’S BOXING DAY FLOODS
Keighley Town Council would like to thank the residents for their Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) during the floods which deluged the area during the festive period. Boxing Day in Keighley signaled a start of a new kind of ARK, a very different kind to the one from the bible. The torrents of rain started high upon the moors above Haworth and along the Aire Valley with heavy rain running down the valley sides into the rivers Aire and Worth. The land which was already soaked from a couple of weeks before, could take no more of the water which meant millions of gallons of water cascaded into the roads in the surrounding areas of Stockbridge, Riddlesden and Steeton. This swept right along the valley to Crossflatts and Bingley which saw unprecedented amounts of flood water. In the Keighley area, Stockbridge was hit particularly badly with water flooding homes and gardens in the Florist Street area, most of which had seen heavy rain a few weeks before. These floods however were the worst the area had seen for many years with flood water and raw sewage coming up through the ground. In spite of the difficult conditions, Keighley residents worked together to help those in need. Many local residents, shop owners and others from all over the Keighley area and beyond rallied around to feed and rescue residents. Local councillors, district councillors and the Town Mayor spent five days helping the residents pump out the water and clean up the devastation caused on Boxing Day 2015. “These Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) go a long way to show the nation that Keighley can and does join together in times of desperation, not just as a community but like one big family,” Cllr Westerman said. Keighley Town Council is proud of the residents and would like to thank everyone who played their part no matter how large or small it was. KTCConnect | SPRING 2016
Openness and transparency
The Council has pledged to restore openness and transparency after suffering a difficult period during the publication of the audit reports. To act on its promise it has agreed to hold another three public meetings in addition to the Annual Town Meeting. These meetings will allow the public and elected members to speak candidly outside of the current confines of council protocols, allowing for transparency and openness among members of the public. The first meeting was held on September 10 in the Civic Centre and members of the public were given the opportunity to quiz the Council on community issues. Much of the focus in this meeting revolved around members of the public wanting to break away from Bradford Metropolitan District Council (BMDC) and to bring back services to Keighley. It was felt that money paid to the District Authority was not being spent within the parish and questions were raised on the services provided by the BMDC. The second meeting took place in Central Hall on December 17 2015. This meeting had a better turn out and was held in the morning to allow those parishioners, who perhaps could not attend the last one because it was held in the evening, to come along. Much of the focus in this meeting was on the future of the Keighley Civic Centre which is currently going through a consultation. Ideas were exchanged between the Town Councillors and the public and questions and feedback were recorded. As KTC Connect went to press, the third public meeting was scheduled to be held on 17 February 2016 at Temple Row Keighley, with the Annual Town Meeting scheduled for April 21. We’ll update you on these in the next issue of KTC Connect.
KEIGHLEY CIVIC CENTRE LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
It’s been a year since Keighley’s Civic Centre ceased trading as a result of negative audit reports and uncertainty surrounding the powers it relied on for trading. So to determine what happens to it next, a specialist committee has been setup with a clear remit to develop a strategy and business plan for the future use of the building. Members with knowledge of business acumen were asked to nominate themselves to serve on this committee and in June last year they were asked to carry out out a public consultation to ascertain if the Civic Centre met community and local needs. Members studied background papers including financial commitments relating to the Civic Centre project. The finances of the centre were scrutinized and it was discovered that much of the long term contracts were coming to an end. A pre-consultation took place via the local press and the public were asked to contribute their ideas as to what services or facilities to house in the Civic Centre, so that we could then incorporate them within the consultation document. A public meeting in December 2015 saw many parishioners attend and share their opinions with council members for the future use of the building. Now the council is working with Enventure Research, a company that specialises in public consultations and S4W which specialises in business consultancy services. We are undertaking a public consultation to find out people’s views about the Civic Centre and what it could be used for. At the end of the public consultation, a business plan for each area of the Civic Centre will be developed and a strategy will be devised for the council to adopt and implement. We want to know what you think! Please take part in the consultation by visiting www.enventure.co.uk/keighleyciviccentre or by completing a paper questionnaire which you can get from numerous places around town, including the Civic Centre itself. The consultation is open for anyone to take part from May to the end of July 2016.
MAYOR'S CHARITABLE TRUST | 5
Mayor’s Charitable Trust Welcoming a new baby into the family should be a joyful experience but for some it can be a difficult time, especially if the young child is in need of extra care. That’s why we’ve launched the Mayor’s Charitable Trust, which will be supporting the Maternity & Neonatel Unit at Airedale General Hospital. The charity works tirelessly to improve the journey of mothers who’s unborn child is in need of extra care and monitoring from first diagnosis to discharge. It supports the parents and families through this difficult, worrying and sometimes distressing time. Keighley Town Council officially launched the Mayor's Charitable Trust in July 2015 and the Trust is a separate entity to Keighley Town Council. If you’d like to help with fundraising for this worthwhile cause or you’d like to make a donation, please get in touch with the Town Mayor Councillor Javaid Akhtar on 07970 604314. Cheques for donations can be made payable to ‘Keighley Town Mayor’s Charity’. The Trustee board would welcome volunteers to assist with fundraising and furthering the Mayor’s charitable objectives. However, volunteers will not be able to vote on any matters, but they will be able to make representations to the Trustee. Trustee Board Members appointed are: Councillor Amjid Ahmed; Councillor Mohammed Nazam; Councillor Barry Thorne; Councillor Andrea Walker; Councillor Michael Westerman and Councillor Sohail Zubair. SPRING 2016 | KTCConnect
6 | WOODLAND PROJECT
Investing in our woodland We’ve secured over £40,000 to make the dream of an urban woodland off North Dean Road become a reality. Allotments Officer, Lee Senior, takes us behind the scenes at the Guardhouse Urban Woodland Project.
From left: Cllr Dermondy, Ian Butterfield and Allotments Officer Lee Senior
KTCConnect | SPRING 2016
f you’ve ever wandered past the allotment site off North Dean Road in Keighley then you’ve probably noticed that it’s at best described as a little uninspiring and at worst disused and unwelcoming. Well the good news is that this isn’t going to be the case for much longer. Soon, more than 9,000 trees and shrubs will be planted, creating new habitats and providing an uninterrupted band of trees from Newsholme Dene to the centre of Keighley. The dormant winter months are the perfect time to plant barerooted trees and 500 had already been planted when KTC Connect went to press. Keighley Town Council is working with Forest of Bradford and Tree for Cities on the Guardhouse Urban Woodland Project to transform this unwelcoming section of the allotment site into an accessible community woodland costing over £40,000. WREN is the major funder injecting £43,000, with
WOODLAND PROJECT | 7
WHAT IS AN URBAN WOODLAND?
The project has become a reality through the work of committed, passionate people who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes over the last two years. Trees for Cities and Keighley Town Council also investing. Over the next four months a large part of the site will be enhanced, ensuring better accessibility, new natural recreation amenities and a large scale tree planting programme are all completed. Considering that most urban woodland open green spaces face an unprecedented level of threat from land development, growing population and climate change, it’s fantastic news that we’ve been given permission to go ahead with this initiative. Existing path routes have already been cleared and desire lines have been formalised and resurfaced to provide access for all users of the site where possible. At the end of the project, the site will remain in the management of Keighley Town Council’s Allotments & Landscapes committee and the Allotments Officer. The Town Council will continue to work with community groups to manage future events and further improvements, but despite great progress it’s not been an easy journey. The project has become a reality through the work of committed, passionate people who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes over the last two years. The original idea came out of a consultation process lead by the Keighley West Environmental Partnership and Keighley & Ilkley Voluntary and Community Action Group with input from Keighley Town Council as landowners. Since then we have been working with a number of local agencies and gaining their input on the scheme. KTC has had a fantastic response from all involved in the project to date and we are sure those people using the adjacent woods and open space will be excited at the prospect of a much improved environment on their doorstep as well as the opportunity to help create it. The region has a particular low tree cover compared to other parts of the country, with the south west of the Bradford region having a smaller percentage of woodland cover compared to a national average of 10 per cent. This woodland creation not only helps address the gap but also provides a safe haven for wildlife. The woodland and hedgerow structure also creates uninterrupted flight lines for bat and bird populations as well as great places for people of all ages to enjoy quality leisure time. Once it’s finished, the woodland will be a multi-faceted resource that will contribute to our quality of life, our communities, the environment and the economy. We want to see community woodland which promotes healthy lifestyles and contributes to viable livelihoods. There is a great enthusiasm and spirit being shown for these improvements and we hope this will continue to grow. One way of sustaining that enthusiasm is by offering genuine training opportunities and learning experiences. We’re hosting community tree planting days and involving forest schools as well as organising wild food workshops, dry stone walling, tree care and wildflower meadow creation. The future holds plenty of opportunity for communities and community groups to be part of the journey and involve themselves in the decision making, creation, management and recreational use of the woods and we’d like to thank everyone involved in making the scheme become a reality.
An urban woodland can be a large tree covered area or a single street of trees within the boundary of a town or city. Quite often it is a landscape between the built environment and the countryside, a transition zone where urban and rural mix. The Guardhouse Urban Woodland Project will become established as a larger expanse of woodland created and managed for biodiversity and recreation. It will support small scale enterprise such as forest schools and willow harvesting. Over 8,000 deciduous trees will form the urban woodland, creating links between scattered areas of wooded habitat with established woodland cover at Postman’s Walk to the east and Holme House Wood to the west of the old allotment site. Helping to reduce woodland fragmentation and increase connectivity along North Beck, the new woodland will assist the movement of species between established habitats, including the bat population. The structure and diversity of the woodland is mixed with trees, hedgerows and a good mixture of wild flowers and grasses that we hope to see bloom in spring and early summer. There are four types of woodland being established on the site; a climax woodland of Oak and Ash, a woodland edge of fruiting species that provide a gradual transition to the adjacent land, a wet woodland of Alder, Birch and Willow species which thrive in wetter soils and seasonally flooded areas and stands of individual trees in grassland. As the different types of woodland start to grow, the canopy layer will begin to close and shape the living communities with lower vegetation layers and soil. This increases biodiversity, the variety of plant and animal life in a habitat and gives residents the opportunity to interact with wildlife, offering a resource for learning and recreation. Thanks to Shaun O’Hare, for supplying the background project information. Shaun is a Landscape Architect and Arborist who has supported Keighley Town Council, helping to establish one of the few new urban woodlands in the country. SPRING 2016 | KTCConnect
8 | IN REMEMBRANCE
REMEMBERING OUR HEROES Keighley took part in its annual Remembrance Day Service on Remembrance Sunday November 8. Large crowds gathered for a two minute silence which was observed in the Town Hall Square before the laying of wreaths. Members of the Royal British Legion, Keighley Scouts, Keighley schools, civic dignitaries, veterans and other organisations took part in the event. The service was provided by Councillor Jonathan Pritchard of CoE Keighley Shared Church.
KTCConnect | SPRING 2016
IN REMEMBRANCE | 9
SPRING 2016 | KTCConnect
10 | COMMUNITY ROUND-UP
NEW GRIT BIN FOR FELBRIGG AVENUE
District councillor Adrian Farley, who represents Keighley West ward on Bradford Council, has been working with residents to make sure they get a new grit bin. The Council’s Watch and Transport committee agreed to install and fill a grit bin for residents of Felbrigg Avenue following a campaign by Councillor Farley and many residents of the area. “The original grit bin was burned out about five or six years ago,” Councillor Farley said. “Residents contacted me earlier this year to ask for a new one and I’m now pleased to tell you that it’s finally been delivered.” Meanwhile, Councillors have approved a grit bin policy to govern the applications received for grit bins. Councillor Peter Corkindale said it was important to have criteria to help decide where grit bins were most needed. The criteria within the new policy agreed in January included factors such as the gradient of the road and whether the street has a known history of accidents. The policy also stipulates that any new grit bin must not be within 200 metres of an existing bin, and must not obstruct pedestrians.
ARMED FORCES DAY 2016
©UK MOD Crown Copyright 2015”
This year’s Armed Forces Day on June 19 is set to be the biggest and best yet! The event will be held at Marley Fields just off the Aire Valley Road and visitors can expect to be dazzled by the displays lined up from the famous War Horse Display Team. There’ll even be the chance to have a go in one of the mini tanks which the public can drive, as well as watch the re-enactment teams and take a look at the vast array of military units. Local schools will also be taking part with some stunning exhibits so put the date in your diary and come and enjoy the day Keighley celebrates our Armed Forces. KTCConnect | SPRING 2016
Keighley Town Mayor Councillor Javaid Akhtar with David Jones from West Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Councillor Ian Dermondy
Five public defibrillators, which can bring somebody back to life in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, have been installed at important points around Keighley town centre. The public defibrillators are simple machines located in secure boxes on walls around town at the civic center, the Markazi Jamia Masjid also known locally as the Emily Street Mosque, the Morton Village Hall, and Keighley Railway Station. The location of the fifth machine had not yet been confirmed when KTC Connect went to press. The vision behind the scheme is to make the town a safer place for those that live, work or visit the area. Cllr Dermondy said: “These machines are easy to use — all you need to do is follow the instructions and training will be available later this year for those that would like it.” If someone is suffering from a cardiac arrest you must still call 999. The ambulance service will then direct you to your nearest defibrillator and give you the code for the box. “This is only to be used while you’re waiting for the ambulance or paramedic to arrive. The main thing is that it can save lives,” cllr Dermondy added. This initiative has been made possible thanks to the hard work of David Jones, the defribilation Officer at West Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group. Councilor Dermondy continues to work with the Yorkshire ambulance service the CCG and David Jones to bring other life-saving ideas to the town.
COMMUNITY ROUND-UP | 11
Spring is in Steve’s safe hands
or many the Town Hall Square — with its magnificent Cenotaph in the middle — is the focal point of our town. And for that reason it was really important that we found the right contractor to maintain the green spaces of the Town Hall Square for the next three years. The procurement of the Town Hall Square contract was due for renewal at the beginning of this year. Two tenders were received with a third company declining to tender. We can now reveal that Keighley Town Council is pleased to announce that Steve Thorpe
has been successful with his tender and has been awarded the job for the next three years. Looking after the square is a labour of love for Steve. Indeed tending to the lush striped lawns and colourful flower beds feels more like a vocation than a job. “It’s an honour to be in charge of this pristine area of Keighley and maintain the high standards that have already been set,” Steve told KTC Connect. Twice a year, the beds have to be stripped, manured, dug and raked out ready for replanting, and they can’t be left empty for a long period of time. “We design new and improved
bedding designs year after year with the planning completed about eight months in advance,” he added. Steve is fortunate that he has his enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable son Joe working at his side, as well as his dedicated and enthusiastic team of gardeners. What many people don't know about Steve is that he was the man responsible for growing the flower beds for the Tour de France and he planted the Union Jack and French Flag. It proved a challenge! He had to use plants that were going to all grow to the same height and replicate the exact shades of the
colours of the flags. On top of this they had to be flowering on the exact day the race came through Keighley. “Luckily everything worked like clockwork and we received such wonderful comments from all over the country,” Steve said. When KTC Connect went to press Steve was looking forward to his favourite time of the year, which is spring. “After those cold, dull and dark winter months have passed we start to get a splash of amazing colour,” Steve said. “It wakens us up to what we can hopefully look forward to in the months ahead.” SPRING 2016 | KTCConnect
12 | WHAT'S ON KEIGHLEY
CLEAN UP DAYS Keighley youngsters showed how much they care about their local environment when they spent the day cleaning up Parson St playground in Lawkholme.
Youth Vision teamed up with Bradford Council and Keighley Town Mayor Javaid Akhtar to clean up the playground and other parts of town, painting fences and cutting grass. Mayor Akhtar said the day was a success despite the poor weather and that the aim was to make the playground a more inviting place for children and their families. “As a result of this project Parson Street Playground is more accessible for all children and young people,” Mr Akhtar said. “We’ve reduced isolation and improved the quality of life for young children, as well as increasing community engagement in the local area.” Youth Vision would like to thank Keighley Town Council for its financial support and the Mayor for coming along and helping out with the clean-up.
Your new council website is coming soon... We’re working behind the scenes to bring you your new town council website, which will be completed at the end of April 2016. It’s currently undergoing construction but you can still log onto www. keighley.gov.uk to find councillors’ details, meeting minutes, agendas and reports, dates and times of meetings, local calendar, news and events, planning applications, local travel and weather, maps of the area and local history. The Town Council will also be launching a Twitter and Facebook page once the website build is complete, ensuring residents have information available to them at the touch of a button.
MEET OUR YOUNG ACHIEVERS
The Keighley Young Achiever Awards were held on Friday July 10 2015. The awards are now in their 13th year and recognise the achievements of young primary school children. Organised by Keighley Town Counc since 2003, the event celebrates the outstanding achievements of children for the impact they have on themselves and others, either at school or within their local community. Participating schools nominated a child or group for going above and beyond what is expected of them during the last 12 months. During the event, civic regalia were on display while the children listened to a talk about the history of the council and the previous Mayors of the Municipal Old Borough Council. Current Town Mayor Javaid Akhtar talked about his own experience of education telling children how he couldn’t speak a word of English when he came to this country from Kashmir. However, he said that he didn’t let this hold him back and went on to graduate in accountancy. He added that it was a privilege and an honour to now stand before them as Town Mayor for Keighley. KTCConnect | SPRING 2016
AND THE WINNERS ARE... Ellen Dufton
East Morton Primary School
Husna Haroon Eastwood Primary School Ishraat Azad Holycroft primary School Connor Templeton Ingrow Primary School Demi Duffey Laycock Primary School
Alanah Shimmim & Jamima Khan
Nessfield Primary School
Oakworth Primary School
Rabbit Rangers (Olivia Watts & Stella Cracknell) Oldfield Primary School
Long Lee Primary School
Our Lady of Victories Primary School
Merlin Top Primary School
Parkwood Primary School
Chloe Humphrey Izaak Bunting
Phoenix Special School
Olivia Bastow & Mahek Slaiha Hussain Riddlesden St Marys Primary School
St Anne's Catholic School
Victoria Primary School
Worth Valley Primary School
WHAT'S ON KEIGHLEY | 13
IT’S A NEET IDEA Keighley town councillors are backing a new campaign to find innovative ways to tackle youth unemployment in the town. The Council has teamed up with the Keighley Voluntary sector, Bradford Council and Prospects (Connexions) to apply for funding for a new project called ‘Neet Free Keighley’. Keighley has the third highest rates of Neet in the region — local 16 to 19 year olds who are ‘not in education, employment or training’. The council will apply for up to £10,000 of funding for ‘Awards for All’ from the Big Lottery Fund to tackle the barriers these young people face — many are young carers, struggling with health conditions or are young parents. The campaign aims to improve their prospects by engaging with them through social media and hosting a Keighley Talent day which will celebrate Keighley people of all ages who’ve made a name for themselves through sport, television and media — in a bid to inspire the younger generation. Keighley Town Mayor, Councillor Javaid Akhtar, praised the project saying that it was
right for the town council to get involved with this kind of initiative. Councillor Barry Thorne also argued in favour and told Keighley News: “We need to participate in this. “If we as a council can't do something for our young people then there's no point in us being here." Benefits include: • Specific barriers of NEET young people overcome on an individual basis • No cost to the council as it will be externally funded • Promotion of the Council through the programme and the outcomes achieved • Supporting local ownership and new ways of working • Learning as a result of the bid to be applied in future to other external funding opportunities open to Town Councils The Council will apply for funding for up to £10,000 for ‘Neet Keighley’ from the Big Lottery Fund.
Christmas is a time when we like to make sure everybody feels part of the community. That’s why we invited pensioners to the annual Christmas Pensioners’ dinner on Tuesday December 15 2015 and as you can see from these pictures the event was a great success! Local residents aged over 65 were invited to the meal with 75 turning up for the threecourse lunch. There was a surprise visit from Santa and St Andrew's CoE Primary School performed Christmas carols. We’d like to
thank all the volunteers who helped out as well as Rev Jonathan Pritchard for making sure everybody had a great time. Rev Pritchard said: “Christmas can be a lonely time for the older generation and that’s why we like to make sure they feel part of the community especially at this time of year. We’ve been organising our annual Christmas pensioners’ dinner for the last few years and every year it becomes more and more popular. I’d like to thank everyone who helped out.”
Festive feast for over 65s
KEIGHLEY’S GOT THE X FACTOR
Thousands of Keighley residents came to watch X Factor contestant Josh Daniel switch on the Christmas lights. The 22-year-old singer, who famously made judge Simon Cowell cry during an audition of the TV show, made a special trip to the town to perform his rendition of Labrinth’s Jealous in front of the delighted crowds. Josh joined Mayor Javaid Akhtar and Pulse FM presenters Danny Mylo and Rosie Madison for the big festive switch on. Local choirs also came along to perform festive favourites and make sure the day was a resounding success with lots to do including balloon modelling, face painting and funfair rides. Keighley Town Council awarded the Keighley Town Centre Association a grant of £6,000 to provide funding towards the town centre Christmas lights switch on. Airedale once again played host to Santa’s Grotto on Brunswick Arcade, run by Sue Ryder Manorland’s Hospice, our charity for 2015. The magical winter wonderland saw Father Christmas and his helpers raising vital funds for the hospice in Oxenhope. Airedale Shopping Centre Manager Steve Seymour said: “We worked in conjunction with the Keighley Town Centre Association and Keighley Town Council to pull out all the stops to ensure it was another great day for all the family. We had local artists performing on stage, entertainers, carol singers and a real bang when our celebrity and Santa and Keighley’s Mayor pushed the plunger to light up the town. It was a great evening and everyone really enjoyed it.“ SPRING 2016 | KTCConnect
14 | SAVING YOU MONEY
Saving you money
The Keighley Town Council precept will be cut by 21.1 per cent for this financial year, meaning residents will pay £8.97 less than in 2015.
ouncillors voted overwhelmingly to accept the proposed budget at their monthly meeting at the end of January and agreed on a budget of £478,278 amounting to a precept of £33.72 on houses within the benchmark band D category — a drop of £8.97 compared to last year. What’s more, many Keighley households will be asked to pay even less than this because their homes fall in the lower A to C Council tax bands. The precept reduction has been made possible because of the cuts made across the board with the majority of the cuts made relating to staffing and running costs for the Civic Centre. Speaking at the meeting, Finance and Audit Committee Chairman Councillor Mohammed Nazam, said: “Where there are increases in parts of our budget that is extra money that will go back to the people of Keighley via funding for our different grant schemes. “We could have just decided to have a zero per cent rise for the precept then had a larger surplus, but that would not have been justified,” he added. Cllr Nazam explained that the council now had more stringent procedures in place to govern how it spends public money.
The Budget Report in more detail
The precept is an annual charge on local taxpayers. The precept is set each year by a parish council as part of its annual budgeting process and is collected on the parish council’s behalf by the local authority responsible for collecting council tax for its area. The level of precept depends on the nature and scope of the parish council’s activities. The Local Government Act 1992, section 49A requires a Local Precept Authority to prepare a budget to calculate it’s precept requirement.
Funding and Income Streams
Keighley Town Council receives no funding from central Government or from local businesses however it does receive a small grant from BMDC for the running of the Allotments service. On 01 April 2013 the Council Tax Support Grant Scheme was introduced. This had an impact on Local Council tax bases, which were KTCConnect | SPRING 2016
“The Council now has more stringent procedures in place to govern how it spends public money” reduced. The Government provided funding to principal authorities (Bradford Council) in 2013/14 to encourage offsetting the reduction in council tax bases across Local Council’s in their district. Bradford Council has apportioned the same amount of the Council Tax Support Grant with a reduction of £5,050 from £116,604 to £111,554. This is due to apportioning some Support Grant to the new Bingley Town Council. The Council tax base for 16/17 has seen an increase of 285, equating to a cash difference of £12,081. One percentage on the Council Tax is equivalent to £6,055.
There have been many reductions in budgets across the board. The majority of cuts relate to staffing and running costs for the Civic Centre. Many of the contractual agreements will come to the end of their term. Some significant changes relate to an increase in the three grant schemes for funding of up to £30,000 each. The Special Projects budget has also seen an increase of £30,000 which has been set aside to fund business consultancy and public consultation for the Civic Centre.
Future Implications on the devolution of services
The devolution of services in the coming years is a factor that will need to be taken into consideration should the Council wish to retain its support services. There is no indication how these will be financed, however it is an important factor as this could impact on the budget which may result in an increase in the precept. The Council has not accounted for this factor in the budget for 2016/17 as there is no real indication from the Bradford MDC on their reduction of services affecting the parish.
Reserves and Contingency Balances
Governance & Accountability Guidelines state that a Council's un-marked reserves usually lie within the range of three to twelve months of gross expenditure. A minimum of 25% is advisable to be retained as an un-marked reserve. Keighley Town Council will use this guideline and set the reserve percentage at 30% of expenditure. This equates to £187,180. There is a Town Council projected reserve general fund of £283,122. A suprlus balance of £75,942 will be built into the budget to reduce the level of precept taking out a contingency of £20,000. The contingency of £20,000 is for un-earmarked projects that may arise during the Council year. Some of these projects may involve: • A n increase in grants for the trading elements in the Civic Centre • Purchase of netbooks/iPads to support electronic receipt of communication for members • Possible increase of members' allowances (subject to review by an independent remuneration panel in accordance with local government regulations) • The reserve figures built into the budget for 2016/17 are listed below. These do not account for any other earmarked reserves that may be accounted for at 31 March 2016. • £54,387: Election Costs • £25,000: Civic Centre Building Contingency • £187,180: Council General Fund Reserve • £20,000: Contingency
The total budget requirement £478,278 has seen a reduction of £115,156 in comparison to last year's budget and a cash reduction of £127,237 on the Council Tax equating to a percentage decrease of 21.01%.
ELECTION RESULTS | 15
Congratulations to our new Town Mayor
Congratulations to longserving member of Keighley Town Council, Javaid Akhtar on winning the election as the town’s mayor for 2016. Councillor Akhtar, who represents Lawkholme & Showfield, was the deputy mayor for the 2014/15 civic year and is pictured here with his daughter Faiza Javaid who will act as the Town Mayoress. Councillor Gary Pedley has been appointed as the Deputy Town Mayor. Commenting after the official ceremony, Cllr Akhtar said it was an honour and a privilege to take on this role. “I’d like to thank the outgoing mayor who has served during what has been a difficult time for the council. This will also be a difficult year as there are a lot of new members who will not be familiar with council rules.” However he said that the council had taken positive steps to recruit a new clerk and financial officer and address the recent recommendations of the audit report and urged everybody to continue to work together. “It’s important that members do not act outside their remit. It’s up to them to ensure the council makes a full recovery.” Cllr Akhtar took over from outgoing town mayor Cllr Graham Mitchell, who had been on the town council since its formation in 2002 and did not stand for re-election.
SAFIA IS OUR NEW TOWN CLERK
Well done to Safia Kauser pictured left who has been appointed as the Town Council’s new Town Clerk. Ms Kauser has been with the Council since 2009 when she started out as an Admin Assistant. A qualified Clerk, she was appointed as the Council’s Responsible Financial Officer in November 2014 where she was responsible for addressing the recommendations in the recent public interest report. She’s been Acting Town Clerk since July when the Council received the resignations from the Town and Deputy Clerk. Keighley Town Mayor, Cllr Javaid Akhtar said he was really pleased with the new appointment. “Clerk Safia Kauser has been with the Council for several years and during that period she has proven to be an invaluable asset, carrying the Council through what has been its most difficult period. She is a forward thinking, dynamic individual and the people of Keighley can be confident she will move the Council forward in the right direction.” Meanwhile, the appointment of the Deputy Town Clerk, Miss Rebbeca Collier has been approved by the Council. Miss Collier is a replacement for the previous Deputy Clerk who resigned from the Council in June 2015.
ELECTION RESULTS MAY 2015 WARD
Bogthorn and Exley 1 Seat
Bracken Bank and Ingrow 3 Seats
Samuel Fletcher (NC) Katherine Roberts (NC) Barry Thorne (NC)
Fell Lane and Westburn 3 Seats
George Michael Firth 767 votes Gary Pedley 585 votes Philip Edward Shaw 597 votes 63.8% turnout
Guard House 1 Seat
Ian Dermondy (NC)
Highfield 2 Seats
Amjid Nazir Ahmed 776 votes Shabir Ahmed 709 votes 68.4% turnout
Mark Philip Hudson 413 votes Chouhdry Amjad Mahmood 669 votes
Knowle Park 1 Seat
Nasar Ali 476 votes 68.0% turnout
Abul Kalam Azad 311 votes Jalal Uddin Sheikh 150 votes
Lawkholme and Showfield 2 Seats
Javaid Akhtar (NC) Amjad Zaman (NC)
Laycock and Braithwaite 1 Seat
John Kirby (NC)
Long Lee and Parkwood 2 Seats
Morton and Sandbeds 2 Seats
Choudhury Tariq Mahmood (NC) Michael Westerman (NC)
Oakworth 3 Seats
Peter Corkindale (NC) Mark Curtis (NC) Vacant
Riddlesden and Stockbridge 3 Seats
Gulfraz Hussain (NC) Andrea Walker (NC) Sohail Zubair (NC)
Spring Gardens and Utley 3 Seats
Fulzar Ahmed 910 votes Shazhad Mahmood 880 votes Mohammed Anayat 803 votes 69.8% turnout
Town 1 Seat
Mohammed Nazam (NC)
Woodhouse and Hainworth 2 Seats
Mohammed Ansar Ali 130 votes Fatima Bibi 469 votes Luke Edward Joseph Maunsall 517 votes
John Robert Baxandall 766 votes Graham Paul Heseltine 628 votes Tufail Khan 314 votes
NC= Not contested: *6 Seats filled via Co-option in June 2015. *1 By-election in January 2016 (x1 resignation mid term Councillors Firth and Roberts resigned mid-term.) 1 Co-option in January 2016 BY ELECTION RESULT JANUARY 2015 - BRACKEN BANK & INGROW WARD BERNARDINI, Emanuele Aurelio = 33 votes HERD, Christopher John = 258* votes: Elected JAQUES, Julie = 85 For further information on how to contact your local Councillor, please see contact details on the back page of this issue. SPRING 2016 | KTCConnect
KEIGHLEY TOWN COUNCIL PRESENTS
Saturday 23 April
Three day market 21, 22 & 23 April Street entertainment on Church Green on Saturday 23 April 10am-4pm:
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PUNCH & JUDY FACE PAINTING JUGGLER FLEA CIRCUS LARGE CHILDREN’S SLIDE MUSIC & MEDIEVAL RE-ENACTMENTS STOCKS!
Celebrating the 400th anniversary of England’s greatest playwright William Shakespeare For further information contact Keighley Town Council on 01535 618252 or visit www.keighley.gov.uk Keighley Town Council, Keighley Civic Centre, North Street, Keighley BD21 3RZ
Community news from Keighley Town Council.