Investment ‘needed to end years of neglect for town’

A FORMER leader of Calderdale Council says Elland needs millions of pounds of investment to put right years of neglect.

Tory John Ford, who led Calderdale between 1999 and 2005, was speaking after securing a return to the council after several years in the political wilderness. He triumphed in Elland, a town that has traditionally been a Liberal Democrat stronghold.

Coun Ford said: “I am a very strong supporter in the first place of the plans by Morrisons to bring a major supermarket to Elland.

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People complained about there being two supermarkets next to each other in neighbouring Brighouse, saying it would kill the town off, but of course it has done nothing of the sort and I am sure such a supermarket would bring nothing but benefits to the town.

“The site chosen for the supermarket is absolutely perfect and if it is given planning permission it will be very important for the town’s image and self-esteem.”

He added: “Supermarkets aside I think it is vitally important that Elland gets onto the economic front foot again and one of the things I will be looking at will be the possibility of reopening the old Greetland railway station which would serve West Vale and other neighbouring conurbations.

“This is something that I think really should be looked at. There has been talk for years about Elland having a railway station but there are all sorts of problems there whereas at Greetland there’s a great big area, a lot of land and something which I think should be looked at properly.

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“Elland has been totally neglected and I can understand why residents might look enviously at Brighouse which has seen new swimming baths and new libraries installed and so on, but nothing for Elland. We need investment to bring people to the area and although it won’t happen overnight I am determined to try my best to do what I can to facilitate it. I will be a strong voice for Elland.”

Other projects in the pipeline for Elland include a further proposal by Asda for a supermarket in the town and, with the demolition of the Gannex Mill, the prospect of a major regeneration of the area.

Earlier this year the site’s developer, John Radcliffe, said a new Asda supermarket in Elland could scupper efforts to attract multi-million-pound investment into the town because of the potential for traffic mayhem.