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From Keighley News, December 27th, 2018
Written by Alistair Shand

A MAJOR conference is being held in Keighley to discuss integration. The event will bring together representatives of different communities within the town. They will examine new ways in which people can be encouraged to mix. Spearheading the conference is Keighley MP John Grogan, in partnership with the town council, Bradford Council and Keighley College – where the event takes place, on Friday, January 18. The initiative – An Integrated Keighley? – is being organised in the wake of publication by the Government earlier this year of a green paper.

A consultation document identified five areas across the country, including Bradford district, which required support to bring about greater integration.

Up to £50 million has been allocated to the chosen areas, to support activities.

Measures could include extra support for English language classes, targeted help to improve economic opportunities for people – particularly women – in segregated communities, schemes to encourage school pupils to form lasting relationships with those from different backgrounds, and increased take-up of the National Citizen Service which sees groups of 16 and 17-year-olds carry out community projects.

Mr Grogan said: “This presents us with an ideal opportunity to consider what more can be done to facilitate integration.

“The aim is simply to find practical ways in which we can encourage the different communities in Keighley to mix a bit more.

“Sharing a meal or a sporting or educational activity can help break down barriers.

“For example, a great success in Keighley in July this year was the showing on a big screen at Keighley Cougars of England’s football World Cup semi-final, which attracted a very diverse crowd.”

There will be several speakers at the conference, including Kim Leadbeater, sister of murdered Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox and chairman of More in Common; Bishop of Bradford, the Right Rev Toby Howarth; Imam Sabri, of Keighley Central Mosque; Bradford Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe; Mr Grogan and Samayya Afzal, from the Muslim Council of Britain.
Workshops and discussions will also take place.

Anyone is welcome to attend the event, which runs from 9am to 1pm.

Attendance is free, and lunch will be provided.

More details and tickets can be obtained at

Tickets can also be booked by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..