The fall... and rise of Elland

Elland is a town where many people feel hard done-by.

Rightly or wrongly, folk they have the impression their town is always at the back of the queue when it comes to sharing out resources.

They pay the same council tax as everyone else, as they are quick to tell you, but reckon they lose out when it comes to new leisure facilities, council services and general care and attention.

Halifax has had by far the better of the shotgun marriage that created Calderdale, they say.

Brighouse and Todmorden harbour the same grudge too, but it seems especially raw in Elland.

The town has a proud history and deep sense of civic identity.

And that made it all the more painful to residents when Elland was recently identified by English Heritage as an area of neglect and decay.

People there were not surprised... but they were deeply ashamed.

It looks as though some good is already coming from this little slap in the face.

Officials at Halifax Town Hall are smarting enough to have drawn up a response.

It involves a 600,000 facelift for shops and other buildings in Elland with the cash coming, it is hoped, from an English Heritage grant and match-funding from Calderdale Council.

We hope not only that the bid is successful, but that more initiatives follow in the same vein.

Regeneration and civic pride are just as important in our smaller towns as our biggest.

As Vicky Wilkinson of the local civic trust suggests, a lot more investment will still be needed for Elland to fulfil its potential. But this would be a great start.