Drugs and needles dumped outside Braithwaite pub

Jan Smithies

Jan Smithies

First published in Keighley
Last updated

A COUNCILLOR and housing reps rolled up their sleeves to clear fly-tipped rubbish from a derelict Braithwaite pub.

The public-spirited trio delved into a pile of bin bags that included household drugs and insulin needles.

Coun Jan Smithies led the impromptu clean-up after the entire contents of a house were dumped outside the Braithwaite Tavern.

She was joined by Incommunities manager James Quigley because the housing body is the biggest landlord in Braithwaite.

The pair were helped by resident Darren Baines who serves as a volunteer on the Incommunities management board.

Cllr Smithies said the contents of the bin bags revealed someone had systematically gutted a house room by room.

She said: “Residents had been ringing me non-stop for three weeks about this rubbish.

“It was a public health hazard. It was dumped right opposite the school.

“It looked like someone had done a flit from a house. There was kids’ stuff, adults’ stuff, whole cupboards of food.

“Worryingly we found prescription drugs and things for injecting insulin. Children were going into the bags.”

The Braithwaite Tavern, formerly the Timothy Taylor, has been closed for about eight years and has become a magnet for dumping and vandalism.

Bradford Council owns the land the pub stands on, and a private company owns the building itself.

District councillors who represent Keighley West ward have made efforts in recent months to bring the site back into use, and the pub was put back on the market.

Coun Smithies said: “The council is very open to suggestions how the site should be used. They want something to be done with it.

“We really want pub to be sold, so it can be used for the community.

“In the meantime, the building is deteriorating and is a prime site for dumping.”

Coun Smithies said the pub owners were looking for someone to clean the site fully, and planned measures to stop fly-tippers getting into the car park with their vehicles.

Coun Smithies added that blocking the pub entrance might not be popular with parents who use the former car park while taking children to and from nearby Merlin Top and Phoenix primary schools.

Coun Smithies paid tribute to the involvement of Incommunities, which manages the former council housing on the Braithwaite and Guard House estate.

She said: “They have no responsibility to get involved, but did it as a goodwill gesture because their residents were affected.”

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