Parents fighting to safeguard the future of a children’s centre in Ilkley yesterday handed a 500-signature petition to the council.

Campaigners fear the newly-built Little Lane Children’s Centre may be earmarked for closure as Bradford Council prepares to implement £4m of cuts.

But a petition in the town has received the backing of 500 people in about a week and was presented to district councillors Anne Hawkesworth and Martin Smith, who are backing the bid to save the Sure Start centre from the axe.

Coun Hawkesworth, leader of the Conservative group on Bradford Council, says she will present the petition to Ian Greenwood, Labour leader of the council, to show the strength of support for the children’s centre.

It is believed more than 300 families take their children to the centre and its future could be decided at a full council meeting next Thursday.

Concerned parent Jenny Yeardley says she is delighted with the response of people in Ilkley to the petition and the threat of closure. “We’ve got a lot of people who appreciate this place and want to keep it going,” she said.

Mrs Yeardley said the campaign has now received the support from local groups Airedale Mums and Moors Mums.

Parent Neil Fraser, a member of the Ilkley Labour Party, said: “It has been great to see how the whole community has rallied behind Jenny’s campaign to highlight the danger of cuts to our local Sure Start.

“The Ilkley Labour Party firmly supports her campaign, with many of our members only too glad to have signed her petition.”

Copies of the petition are available to sign at several shops in Ilkley, including Booths, Humbugs and Secrets and Surprises and medical practices Acorn Dentists and The Ilkley Osteopathic Practice.