I WRITE regarding Malcolm Balmforth’s letter in the Keighley News – which questioned whether Keighley Central electoral ward had high levels of deprivation, and also suggested that the reason Keighley Central got more funds was because the population in that ward were “staunch Labour supporters”.

The factual information regarding both of these matters challenges Mr Balmforth’s personal opinions. A quick search shows that Keighley Central currently has two Conservative district councillors and only one Labour councillor.

The information regarding deprivation is also easily available from credible sources online, namely, the national government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation data which shows that Keighley Central is in the top ten per cent of most deprived wards in the country, and is the sixth highest in the Bradford district (30 wards in total). Sadly, Keighley West is the eighth most deprived ward in Bradford so doesn’t come out much better; Keighley East is 20th out of 30.

It’s unclear which property grants Mr Balmforth is referring to, but most likely it was the town centre improvements around North Street via the Heritage Lottery Fund, which just happens to come under Keighley Central ward boundaries but was aimed at benefitting the whole town. Property owners had to make a certain percentage contribution to improvement work in order to free up grants.

I hope this helps clarify a few things.

Jan Smithies, Braithwaite Village

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