LETTER: What are Keighley Council taxpayers getting for their money?

I RECEIVED my council tax bill for 2022-23 this week and noticed as expected that it had gone up again.

What particularly struck me was how the various items on the bill had gone up. Bradford Council’s share has gone up to 2.99%, which is probably the most it can inflict on us without a referendum. Police and firefighters increased by 4.73 and 7.44% respectively. Perhaps the recent fire at Dalton Mills contributed to this. There is certainly no sign of more police on the streets!

What was astonishing was the 21.2% increase in Keighley Town Council. I don’t know how this increase can be justified when there is no obvious reason for the increase. Will housing estate maintenance cost more? Are there any refreshments at City Council meetings now that they are back in face-to-face sessions?

Will the mayor, in the spirit of democratic transparency, give the people of Keighley a full breakdown of last year’s budget and tell us how it compares to other councils in Silsden, Haworth, Oxenhope and Ilkly?

Mary Humphreys, Riddlesden

* Keighley Town Mayor Councilor Julie Adams responds: ‘Each year the council sets its precept – for the coming year a D-strip property will cost £48.11 or £4.01 This rose by 70 pence per month on the In comparison, Steeton with Eastburn Parish Council charges £45.70, Ilkley charges £47.11 and Haworth, Stanbury and Cross Roads charge £45.03.

“It should also be noted that over 70% of Keighley households are in AC bands and will pay less than the D band amount shown.

“For their £4 a month, the people of Keighley are contributing to the following – over £70,000 in grants to help local groups and organizations undertake their work; upkeep and maintenance of the Town Hall Square and cenotaph, maintaining 13 housing estate sites across Keighley and planting 20,000 trees to help play our part in climate change; over £20,000 for community development projects and access to the civic center which is available for hire and hosts many functions throughout the year; and more than a dozen downtown events, all of which are free, supporting local businesses and encouraging downtown footfall. This year Keighley will also host Yorkshire’s celebrations for Yorkshire Day, showcasing all that is brilliant about our town.

“I could go on and on but I think for the £4 a month the town hall offers excellent value for money. The town hall publishes all of their financial information on their website every month and all of our committee meetings are open to members of the public – you can find more information at keighley.gov.uk.”

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