A SAFEGUARDING conference in Keighley this month aims to make the town the “very best in the country” at protecting its children.

A host of organisations will come together to look at what have they can offer youngsters both now and in the long-term.

The conference is being organised jointly by Keighley MP John Grogan and United Keighley, a multi-agency group that campaigns to stop the sexual exploitation of children.

Mr Grogan said the conference would follow in the footsteps of former Keighley MP Ann Cryer, who he said bravely drew attention to problems of child sexual exploitation in the constituency.

He said: “This conference will bring together our schools, police, councillors, social workers, churches, mosques and the voluntary sector.

“The aim is quite simply to examine strategies for the town to become the very best in the country for safeguarding the next generation of children, preventing them coming to harm, and allowing them to enjoy the innocence of childhood.”

The conference will be at Keighley Civic Centre on March 23.

Speakers will include former Keighley councillor Angela Sinfield, who spearheaded campaigns against CSE in Keighley after her family was affected by grooming.

Also speaking will be town chaplain Rev Jonathan Pritchard, a leading light of United Keighley; Mark Burns-Williamson, the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner; Mufti Khurshid Alam Sabri, the imam at Keighley Central Mosque; and John Devlin from Keighley Schools Together.

Representatives from several groups involved with United Keighley will outline what they can do to protect local children and teenagers, then conference participants will split into groups to talk about long-term solutions.