A Keighley town councillor said local people continued to come to the town council for help despite criticism from a “minority” group which wanted to get rid of it.

Speaking at the council’s September meeting, watch and transport committee chairman Coun Graham Mitchell said his committee’s latest agenda amounted to a shopping list of requests for assistance from people wanting improvements. He said: “Are we to say to these good people – ‘sorry, no, go away, we can’t help you because the members of a minority group don’t want us to exist and they are campaigning to abolish this council and sweep us away entirely’?

“Of course we can’t and we don’t say that. We say to petitioners who are often turning to this council because they haven’t been able to obtain satisfaction elsewhere – ‘yes, we understand your problem and we will do all that we can with our limited resources to help’.

“I believe it’s time for councillors to ask their constituents ‘Do you want Keighley Town Council to continue to help you in a variety of ways and to provide facilities for you through its committees, or are you going to support a group which wants to abolish this council?’”

A group called Cavetown Council has been expressing serious dissatisfaction with Keighley Town Council, accusing it of poor financial management and a lack of transparency. Cavetown spokesman Elizabeth Mitchell, who lives in Ingrow, rejected Coun Mitchell’s argument that the group was aiming to destroy the town council.

“Cavetown was set up to bring accountability and transparency back to Keighley Town Council - not to abolish it,” she said. “If we had a mission statement, that is what it would be.”