From Telegraph & Argus, August 26th, 2019
Written by David Jagger
THE destruction of a historic cricket club pavilion in Ilkley at the weekend was "shocking and disturbing", MP John Grogan has said. Mr Grogan, MP for Keighley and Ilkley said the fire which ripped through the building at Olicanian Cricket Club was a tragic loss for the town. He has also made calls for a plan of action to tackle criminal behaviour in Ilkley on bank holiday weekends, and weekends in general when the weather is hot.
The club, formed in 1922, was left devastated by the fire on Sunday. The pavilion was opened by legendary England and Yorkshire cricketer Ray Illingworth in 2002 at its home next door to Ilkley Lido.
John Grogan said: "The deliberate fire at Olicanian Cricket Club is shocking and disturbing.
"In 1949 the club moved its ground to the present location in Denton Road and the pavilion was added in 2002.
"The determination of both the Cricket Club and the All Saints Pre School Nursery, expressed in the immediate hours after the fire, to rebuild for the future as soon as possible is truly admirable.
"It is an expression of the strength of community spirit in the town.
"The sad truth is that Ilkley, on hot summer Bank Holidays, in recent years has suffered a number of incidents of serious criminal behaviour.
"I very recently spoke to the local police Chief Inspector about this issue and he told me he was going to work to bring the different agencies together to ensure better joint working.
"In other words, just like earlier in the summer there was a clear plan to put out the fire on Ilkley Moor we now need a clear plan of action to keep the peace on not summer days in Ilkley."