A SENIOR councillor has leapt to the defence of Keighley after the town was voted one of the top ten worst places to live in England.

Keighley was ranked seventh in a survey carried out by the satirical website I Live Here, with a total of 80,172 votes cast.

It was accused of being “full of mums sporting pineapple crown hairdos” and “wearing Peppa Pig pyjamas on the school run”.

Among other scathing comments was one from a contributor who said the town was “depressing, unfriendly and dull”.

Keighley Central councillor Zafar Ali, who was Lord Mayor of Bradford last year, says the town would be boosted by increased employment and education opportunities for residents.

But he contends that Keighley’s issues are no worse than those of many other places.

“There is good and bad about every town,” said Cllr Ali, who has lived in Keighley for 56 years.

“There is positive and negative thinking and some people only think about the negative.

“If Keighley had good employment, it would flourish.

“The Government needs to put money into Keighley to make it a viable town. It has a proud history. Keighley is the best part of the Bradford metropolitan borough.

“This survey shows individuals’ information about their experiences in Keighley. That does not mean to say everything in Keighley is bad.

“It is a good place to live and a good place to work.”

Keighley was the only Bradford-district town listed in the survey’s top ten.

Peterborough was voted the worst place to live.

It was followed by Doncaster, Huddersfield, Rochdale, Rotherham, Nottingham, Keighley, Wakefield, Stoke-on-Trent and Halifax.

It’s not the first time Keighley has come in for stick.

The town was mentioned in a John Cooper Clarke poem, which said: “I’ll tell you now and I’ll tell you briefly, I don’t ever want to go to Keighley.”

In the book, Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK, Keighley came in at number 40 when it was released in 2003.

But positives for the town included Timothy Taylor brewery, the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Cliffe Castle Museum, East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley Cougars and the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth.