PROPERTY speculators are not called speculators without reason.

Regarding recent speculative proposals for the vacant lot where the former technical college recently stood, I am no economist but I cannot understand the claims now being made that the whole site, Boys’ Grammar School and all, had to be completely cleared and done up, at public expense, in order to attract private developers.

Surely, if the price offered had been adjusted downwards, it would have been right for the speculators? I am left wondering whether private contractors would have demolished less expensively than Bradford Metropolitan Council seems able to do.

The addition of top-soil to the area seems like icing on a cake made with rancid butter.

When it comes to time capsules, past or present, it would appear we don’t quite know what to put in them. Children’s drawings are always nice but will they tell future time-travellers much about now? Coins and stamps don’t say that much either, except that The Queen was still alive and we hadn’t yet adopted the Euro. I hope someone makes sure this time the newspaper included (presumably the admirable Keighley News) will be easier to extract and read.

The time capsule to be interred at the newly revamped Cliffe Castle will have a ‘fidget spinner’. I don’t know what that is but I bet it will be out of date in 50 years’ time. Also, a ‘memory stick’; surely a contradiction in terms? Your eminent historian, Asa Briggs, would have been well aware those now-demolished Victorian buildings on that site would have done far more for the collective memory than techno-gadgets ever could.

In the year 2000, the designers of the Millennium Dome didn’t know what to put in it in order to celebrate the steady rate of our human progress, so it quickly became a venue for pop concerts and the like: a national, cultural embarrassment. On a smaller scale, is that what we will end up with in Keighley?

Local politicians and town-planners seem to come into their own when they are destroying things. Every time they remove one of our old buildings they make the urban landscape look more and more like an old man’s mouth: full of gaps, almost toothless.

I am also left wondering why there appear to have been no recent references to something you reported in August 2015, that the Department for Communities and Local Government was objecting to the project and the sale of the site to private developers, since it had originally put up much of the money for local educational needs. If it was to be sold off for non-educational purposes, it wanted its money back. Did cash-strapped Bradford Council come up with the required remuneration?

The local rhetoric that has generated around this issue is full of vague references to benefits to the town. As usual, the people of Keighley have not been properly consulted.

CHRISTOPHER ACKROYD Bethel Street, East Morton