From The Keighley News, 15th June 2017
Written by David Knights
KEIGHLEY’s new MP John Grogan plans a major conference this September to thrash out the town’s future. Mr Grogan plans to bring together businesses, politicians and voluntary bodies to ensure Keighley forges a bright future.
He said: “I don’t think we should expect second-best. I’m ambitious for Keighley and I know a lot of other people are. This conference will be the place to focus this energy.
“Given the interest of young people in the general election, sixth formers and college students in Keighley will be involved.
“There are a whole range of issues in Keighley – the new shopping centre, the future of the town centre and the economy are top of my list.”
Mr Grogan revealed his plans to revitalise Keighley’s economy as he pledged major support for the Aire Valley Against Incineration campaign, including a meeting tomorrow (June 16) with members of the group fighting the planned waste plant at Marley.
He will donate his first month’s salary as an MP to help fund the campaigners’ judicial review attempt, and hopes to persuade businesses to also give cash towards the £25,000 cost.
He said: “I think the group is quite a bit short, so the most constructive thing I can do that in the short term is to help them raise it.
“It looks like a judicial review might have a good chance. There’s a strong case that the planning decision is flawed and didn’t take into account all the evidence.”
Mr Grogan was this week recruiting his first staff members, and working towards his first public surgeries this weekend and opening an office in Keighley next week.
He said: “We’re faced with the fact that Labour has given people hope but we haven’t gained power. I’m not in a position to put money into local schools and Airedale Hospital.
“But I will visit as many schools as possible in the next few weeks. Because of the precarious position the government is in I think they will revisit some of their policies.”
Mr Grogan said that if extra money became available for education, he would fight to get some for local schools.
He added: “I have a big job to do in Keighley and Ilkley and want to make that my top priority. I will obviously be speaking up in Parliament and in a range of committees but I will not be a shadow minister.”
Mr Grogan’s first surgeries will be on Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17 in Keighley, Silsden and Ilkley, and Haworth on Friday, June 23. Call 01535 602579 to make an appointment.