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Keighley Students building memorial for ‘inspirational’ councillor
Updated 1:19pm Friday 14th February 2014 in Keighley
Young people in Keighley will create a special memorial as a tribute to a Craven ward councillor who died at the age of 70.
Coun Michael Kelly died on February 4 after losing his battle against a long illness.
Adam Craven, co-ordinator at Woodville Activity Centre in Woodville Road, said: “Councillor Kelly was a great inspiration to our young people at the centre.
“Michael actually found Woodville for the Prism Youth Project and this centre has been a great success for us since Michael got involved. We are all very proud of the work he has done to help.
“We’re a registered charity and independent school, working with young people that struggle to work in a school setting.
“In Michael’s remembrance, the students are going to make a wooden wishing well with a plaque for his family and his village. The students are very upset about Michael and can’t wait to help.”
Prism executive head Paul Craven said he had valued Coun Kelly’s honesty and integrity.
“He was a great man for Prism and will be sorely missed by all,” he said. “All the young people knew him and he always took time to chat to them. His legacy will live on.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: “I was deeply saddened to be informed of the death of my friend and colleague Councillor Michael Kelly.
“During my period as leader of Bradford Council I had the privilege of appointing Mike to the position of portfolio holder for children’s services. It was a role he fulfilled with great distinction, as he sought to do the very best he could to better the lives of young people across the district.”
Coun Kelly, who lived in Addingham, had represented his ward for the past decade.
Close friend and fellow councillor Andrew Mallinson said: “Michael really enjoyed his role as executive member of children’s services. He was always very calm and dedicated and did his best to make sense of a very difficult job.”
Coun Adrian Naylor, also a Craven ward representative, said: “I’ve known Michael since 2006 and he was one of the remaining true gentlemen in politics.”