KEIGHLEY has a history of air pollution.

When I was growing up here, the atmosphere was often full of the smoke that billowed out from the many now romanticised mill chimneys that literally fuelled the local economy.

We called it fog and put up with it – it was like April showers. We didn’t know any better and apparently we don’t know any better now.

Later, quite rightly, came the Clean Air Acts, but it took quite some time to achieve the clarity of air we now have.

Those mills and their chimneys equated to hundreds if not thousands of jobs for people who lived here in Keighley.

The disputed estimate of how many jobs the proposed and approved incinerator at Marley will bring is in some ways neither here nor there. It probably won’t be hundreds; it certainly won’t be thousands.

Exactly how much does Bradford Metropolitan Council calculate it can get away with in terms of destroying the very features and character of our stretch of the Aire Valley before the game ceases to be worth their candle?

Keighley and its surrounding hillsides, filled by yet more small concentrations of carefully but badly-designed mass-housing; acre upon acre of windowless, featureless, characterless warehouses; plus the suspicious prospect of a significant addition to the dangerous levels of air pollution we already have, due to Keighley’s notorious traffic problems, which nobody in a position of authority seems able to solve.

In many ways, we were better off with the picturesque mill chimneys. Terrific photographs. Keighley is one among many post-industrial towns in the north of England, all of them desperate for jobs, however few are on offer.

Work it out for yourselves.

CHRISTOPHER ACKROYD Bethel Street, East Morton