A KEIGHLEY campaign group is lobbying to remove the Bradford local lockdown restrictions in the town.

Since Friday, around 200 residents have signed up to the Facebook group Get Keighley Out of Local Lockdown and its members are lobbying Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore to justify why Keighley wards are in local lockdown while other nearby wards with similar or higher cases have had the lockdown lifted.

Long Lee resident Bec Severs, who set up the group, said: “The data does not support the actions. There are a lot of questions to be asked about making these decisions and why our MP has been so silent about it since they were first introduced over three weeks ago.

“The campaign is not about taking away the restrictions, but more about why decisions are made when nearby wards have higher rates.”

Recent data provided by Public Health England (PHE) shows most wards in Keighley have lower reported Covid-19 cases than surrounding areas like Steeton and Silsden ward and Crossflatts and Eldwick.

However, members of the Keighley group are keen to point out that weekly PHE figures up to September 7 show that the cases based on population in Crossflatts and Eldwick were more than double than those in Keighley Central and East. “The fact that it’s a social lockdown is going to affect families, particularly with the government’s ‘rule of six’ restrictions coming into place," she said.

She said if families cannot meet up it is going to be a "big concern for people going into winter".

“I know a lot of people in Keighley who feel the same way,” said Mrs Severs, who has written an open letter to Robbie Moore about the issue.

“People in Keighley feel disenfranchised about it. I’m trying to empower them by letting them know what they need to do to lobby him.”

Keighley West councillor Paul Godwin said: “I would like to have a clear policy where we’re all following the same line that is satisfactory to everybody.

“There’s been a degree of meddling by MPs to get their areas out of local lockdown.

“We all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet on this. The council position has been undermined and that’s difficult for local people to understand.

“Why are Steeton and Silsden not in local lockdown while Exley Head in my ward has far fewer cases? It’s very difficult for me to explain that to my residents.

“We should follow a strategy that works for the whole of Bradford. For simplicity’s sake, let’s all just follow the ‘rule of six’ and then we’d all be treated equally.”

We were unable to speak to Mr Moore, but when the local lockdown was lifted for nine Bradford wards last month, he said: “I’m glad the Government have taken this decision to allow localised restrictions to be enforced based on data, rather than an arbitrary boundary covering the council area.

“The Health Secretary Matt Hancock supports the idea that localised restriction should mean local backed by data. By allowing the data to guide the government’s approach, rather than council boundaries, as promoted by Bradford Council, I’m glad we have achieved this victory for common sense.”