BRADFORD Council will always stand-up for the whole district – including Keighley.

That was the message to townspeople this week from the leader of the Labour-run council, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe.

She was speaking after the town's Conservative MP, Robbie Moore, led a Commons debate on a parliamentary Bill he put forward which would enable 'breakaway' local authorities to be formed.

He and fellow Conservative MP Philip Davies, of neighbouring Shipley, are campaigning for the two constituencies to leave the control of Bradford Council – claiming the towns receive "hardly anything" in return for their council tax and business rates.

But Councillor Hinchcliffe refutes the allegations and has spoken of her pride at the "innovations and growth" happening in Keighley.

She told the Keighley News: "This debate in London had no legislative significance but it is hugely disappointing that instead of championing the area, we have a Conservative MP who constantly speaks against us.

"I want to assure residents that we, as a council, will always stand-up for the whole district and promote investment and opportunity here.

"Keighley is the focus of much of our high-end manufacturing in the district and we’re very proud of the innovations and growth that are happening here. We want to be one of the Government’s levelling-up areas and I would welcome the MP’s support for this ambition. We want to join Wolverhampton and Sheffield as one of the 20 areas, that’s what I’d really like him to focus on."

Mr Moore told the Commons debate on Friday that residents in his constituency felt the "root cause" of many of their problems was that their local authority was based in Bradford, and not in Keighley.

He told fellow MPs that his Local Authority Boundaries (Referendums) Bill would solve the issue by allowing parliamentary constituencies to hold referendums to create their own councils, based on constituency boundaries.

The Government rejected the Bill, saying it had no safeguards to prevent new councils being set-up “on a party-political basis”.

Communities minister Kemi Badenoch said the Bill could not be accepted in the way it had been drafted.

She added: "It would be very, very sweeping indeed."

However, Mr Moore said afterwards that the breakaway campaign had "gained pace" and that a meeting had been agreed with the minister.

"I will not stop in my determination for a new local authority for my constituents," he added.

"It is important to make the positive case for the opportunities which could arise. The economic development of our towns has been held back by Bradford Council.

"With a new local authority, we could finally begin to see progress on the projects which we so desperately want – such as the much-needed footbridge between Steeton and Silsden."