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Chief executive’s letter raises some very serious issues
Once the smirks have gone from the faces of dissenters and toilet humour dies down, there needs to be deeper consideration of the contents of a letter from Bradford Council’s chief executive Tony Reeves to Keighley Town Council.
Keighley Town Council had every right to explore the possibilities of taking over public services including car parks, Keighley Market and tourism promotion. Mr Reeves has responded spelling out the reasons for rejecting the approach.
His explanations do hold water and make a lot of sense, along with positive suggestions for the way such issues may pan out.
However his additional suggestion that the district council may be willing to consider handing over responsibility for the market toilets was “unfortunate” to say the least.
Surely a person in his position must have realised such a comment was likely to inflame old wounds. Observers will no doubt have a mixture of views on that part of his letter and the reasons behind making it. Some members of the town council have already made their comments known.
A main point at issue here is that local district councillors – most recently Keith Dredge – have talked of working together, clearly stating any rivalry between Keighley and Bradford has no place in discussions.
So the question has to be asked, is this a case of the tail wagging the dog? Or was the letter ‘signed off’ by the leadership? Either way is there another agenda behind the comment?
A second point is, what kind of a message does it send out to other town and parish councils in the district who will no doubt also be looking at playing a greater role in delivering services.
A statement of clarification is needed