The son of a former Keighley mayor who died last week has accused Keighley Town Council of ‘insensitivity’ in the aftermath of his father’s death.
Mark Hudson, son of Councillor Brian Hudson, who died in Manorlands on January 28, said a call from the council office to confirm his father’s death included no expressions of condolence, despite being made less than eight hours after he had passed away.
Mr Hudson said the local authority then wrongly advised all its councillors his father’s funeral would be private, even though he had previously stated only a small number of named councillors were not welcome.
He alleges the town council had been “disrespectful and callous”.
However, deputy mayor Coun-cillor Judith Brooksbank said there had been no intention to compound the family’s grief. “We’re not trying to upset them and we do offer our condolences,” she added.
Coun Brooksbank claims the council had needed to contact family members to establish whether they wanted Coun Hudson to have the official mayoral funeral he was entitled to.
Mr Hudson, who manages the Three Acres pub in Cross Roads, said his 72-year-old father died at 5am last Tuesday, and the first call to his family from the council was made at 12.20pm that day.
“My mother’s cousin was asked if the rumour of Councillor Hudson’s death could be confirmed,” he said. “She directed the call to myself.
“I was called by the council at 12.25pm and asked if I could confirm the rumour. I replied it was a private family matter, then made it clear there were certain individuals who would not be welcome at the funeral.
“My wife then spoke to the council and reiterated this was a family matter.
“At no time during the conversation were my father’s funeral arrangements discussed, and at no time were any condolences or sympathy conveyed to us.”
Following these phone calls, the family discovered all Keighley councillors had been told by the council the funeral would be a private occasion.
“The council took what I’d said completely out of context,” Mr Hudson said. “With the exception of some individuals, who I’d named to the council, all council members are welcome to attend the funeral, should they wish.”
Coun Brooksbank responded council members had also been upset by Coun Hudson’s death, and there had been a “misunderstanding” between the council and the ex-mayor’s family.
“It may have been too soon when we called the family, but it wasn’t meant to do any harm,” she said. “There was no ill intent.”
Councillor Hudson’s funeral takes place at midday today in St John’s Church, Ingrow.