IN June 2016, 12.4 million people voted to leave the EU, a turning point in British history.

An unprecedented number of people turned out to use their vote, some of whom had never voted before and some who had not voted for many years.

Like the EU, Bradford Council uses the administrative powers it has over the people of Keighley, Shipley and Ilkley to help shore up its failing survival to the tune of £88 million per year – £42.8 million this year from Keighley alone.

In return for this, we are seeing closures and cutbacks on an unprecedented scale everywhere, which we as a town could halt if we were independent again.

The decline of the woollen trade and the financial crisis of the day were the reasons for us joining with Bradford. The people of our towns had no say in the matter at the time, leaving people frustrated and upset at the decision made against our wishes, not unlike the EU.

The power of the Brexit vote tells us we can change things and we must. Our survival as a town very much depends on the abilities of the leadership of Bradford Council, which to date has proved to be severely lacking in all aspects, leading many to the conclusion that if we do not get out we will be a part of the further decline of what was once a great city.

There are plans in the pipeline to demolish the second former college building in Keighley town centre. Would it not be better to save this building for future use by the administrative staff that will be required to help run an independent Keighley? Yes, it is ugly, but so is Bradford Council’s attitude to the people of Keighley.

Call for a referendum to breakaway from Bradford now or watch pitifully as you see further decline in our ability to support ourselves in the future. Without a referendum, there may be no future.

PETER CLARKE Moorhouse Lane, Oxenhope