I READ with outrage and horror the article – Town is defended over vote – in the Keighley News of January 8, regarding the satirical website 'I live here', which voted Keighley one of the worst places in England to live. 

I can name many other positive attributes of Keighley town and the surrounding area, in addition to those quoted.

To begin with, when buying a property you will get a lot more house/business for your money! Judging by the amount of visitors who voted our town the seventh worst place to live in England, this trend is likely to continue. Access to stunning countryside is easy. The metropolis and all its delights is just a half hour away by train.

Keighley is full of fine architecture including the recently-refurbished Wetherspoons, the first Carnegie library, an impressive Town Hall Square which boasts an annual remembrance parade attended by local families and young people, and Church Green – which hosts events for 'Keighleyites' throughout the year, including Yorkshire Day and St George's Day celebrations.

In December 2019, l attended a Christmas dinner at the civic centre. As one of three dinners, it was obvious the staff had made a huge effort to ensure this was an enjoyable and successful event. The organisations which feed the less fortunate are indeed worthy of a mention. They also provide foodbanks and support for families on low incomes. The Salvation Army supports families throughout the year, not just at Christmas.

The cinema on North Street is worthy of praise. A wide variety of films are shown and during school holidays, films are aimed at a younger audience. It also has a cinema club to show films which have won awards at film festivals which may not otherwise be shown locally. The leisure centre and Central Hall are two other venues that are well supported. They provide a variety of functions including sport, social and artistic entertainment.

I note that Rochdale and Rotherham are also included in the top ten worst places to live in England. Could they like Keighley, have been included in the top ten because of a minority of individuals who committed heinous crimes against vulnerable young women? Remember who brought these horrendous crimes to the attention of Parliament. None other than Ann Cryer, Keighley's then Member of Parliament.

Furthermore, the visitor who used the adjectives depressing, unfriendly and dull to describe Keighley was perhaps reflecting his/her own negative state of mind at the time of his/her visit.

Finally, in the words of senior councillor Mr Zafar Ali, "Keighley has a proud past!" Why can't every responsible citizen attempt to make the present and the future equally as proud? Bingley's main street and Saltaire have improved greatly in the last few years. Of course there is scope for improvement, but we already have some excellent shops in town. There are shopkeepers who devote a great deal of time to their tempting seasonal displays especially florists, confectioners, hairdressers and suppliers of office furniture. Come on citizens of Keighley. Let's all rise to the challenge!



* Email your letters to alistair.shand@keighleynews.co.uk