PLANS to close Keighley's tip have sparked fury in the town.

Bradford Council is proposing to shut the Royd Ings Avenue facility as part of its budget package.

But the move has been slammed as "short-sighted" and there are fears it will lead to a surge in fly-tipping.

As part of the budget proposals, it's also intended to reduce opening hours at the district's other household waste recycling centres.

Worth Valley councillor Rebecca Poulsen, leader of the Conservative group on Bradford Council, says: "As someone who successfully campaigned to keep Sugden End household waste recycling centre at Cross Roads open, I am very concerned about the proposed closure of the Keighley site.

"With increasing levels of fly-tipping, closing the only facility in Keighley town seems very short-sighted. This is also likely to increase fly-tipping in rural areas and increase the cost to the council of clearing the waste.

"There are also safety concerns about the other sites that could be used instead of Keighley. At Bingley the access is single-track and at Sugden End on a busy day vehicles queue to the gates, which open onto a busy road. More vehicles could lead to road safety issues at both sites."

Councillor Matt Edwards, leader of the council's Green group, shares fears about fly-tipping.

"I’m concerned that if we close a prominent site like Royd Ings Avenue it could lead to an increase in illegal waste dumping," he says.

"Our district already has a reputation as an area where fly-tipping is out of control and the council really needs to be looking at ways to make using our tips easier for residents, not putting barriers in the way.

"But the real issue here is linked to Government funding. A decade of funding cuts has meant councils like ours have less money and we are at the point now where we are deciding what essential services we have to cut."

Keighley's MP, Robbie Moore, said he was "infuriated" at the closure plan.

He added: "This is a site my constituents use often. The closure would only serve to increase fly-tipping in our area, unnecessarily diverting resources from the £450,000 of funding the Government allocated earlier this year targeted specifically at stopping fly-tipping in our area, as well as cutting a vital service. The council claims to be focused on clean air – what about clean streets?

"The council needs to keep the site open and scrap its ridiculous closure plans."

Town mayor, Councillor Luke Maunsell, says: "Having a household waste recycling site is important to this town and something we need. I would urge all residents to take part in the consultation on these plans and have their views heard."

Steve Thorpe, who runs a gardening business with son Joe, describes the closure proposal as "ridiculous".

"We use the site every day – sometimes more than once," he says.

"We need a weighbridge facility, which means we would have to go to Bradford instead.

"There's going to be nothing left in Keighley soon.

"We pay our council tax but get nothing for it. The town needs services."

Bradford Council says the Royd Ings Avenue site is one of the smallest and least-used household waste recycling centres in the district, partly due to planning restrictions which limit its weekend opening.

A spokesperson adds: "Due to its small size it is also a site that can only use compaction skips, which are 50 per cent capacity but more than three times the price of standard skips and generate double the number of vehicle movements.

"In developing these proposals, every effort has been made to mitigate the impact by ensuring capacity at alternative sites for residents including at Sugden End and Golden Butts – both in the Keighley & Ilkley constituency. This includes changing weekday opening from 8am–5pm to 9am-6pm to give residents more time to visit after work.

"Closure of the Royd Ings Avenue centre would also release the site for potential business development and job creation in a place that sits in a business development zone.

"We will listen to residents’ views, suggestions and concerns through the consultation before final proposals are confirmed in the new year."

And Councillor Sarah Ferriby, the council's executive member for healthy people and places, says: "The cuts to council services across the country are breathtaking and there is no adequate response from Government about how it expects councils to keep vital services going without sustainable funding from them. The Government’s autumn statement did nothing to address the soaring levels of inflation that are crippling our economy and impacting on the delivery of services. Unfortunately our district is no exception in having to look at what else we can do to balance the books.

"I absolutely understand how residents are tired of cuts, we don’t want to reduce services or close the Keighley site either, but to be able to keep precious services we need a Government that listens and invests in Keighley and the rest of the district."

The budget proposals were discussed by the council's executive yesterday. Consultation has begun and will continue until January 25.