Letter: Thrilled by response to university idea

Amjad Bashir MEP, Conservative, Yorkshire and Humber
Amjad Bashir MEP, Conservative, Yorkshire and Humber

I am absolutely thrilled by the positive response we have seen to my suggestion that the time is right to revive Halifax’s ambition to become a university town.

It was my instinct that the will to take this important step forward was still there - and this seems to be the case.

Some key people have stepped forward in support of the idea and there is a “can do” spirit abroad in the town.

I was especially pleased to see your recent story outlining the important contact which Calderdale Council and its leader Tim Swift have already made with Huddersfield University and Leeds Beckett University. That is so encouraging.

These moves towards closer co-operation are on exactly the right lines. They represent something we can build on to clinch the all-important goal of bringing higher education here.

It seems we have a fair wind of goodwill for the broad plan - the question now is what to do next to harness that energy.

My suggestion would be to bring the key payers together to discuss the potential next steps and to draw up a plan.

To my mind this should include: representatives of the local authority and its political groups, our MP, the management of Calderdale College, major employers such as The Halifax, and key stakeholders such as the Piece Hall, Calderdale Forward.

I am happy to host and chair such a meeting. Alternatively, if people would prefer a non-political chairman I would be happy to propose the editor of the Courier or the person of his choice.

This potential boost to the town is too great to let political rivalries get in the way.

Once again I shall anxiously await people’s response to my proposal.

Amjad Bashir MEP, Conservative, Yorkshire and Humber