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Elected mayor would be a disaster for the district
10:15am Thursday 26th April 2012 in Letters
Next Thursday, the people of Keighley and Ilkley will face arguably our most important vote in almost four decades. It was 1974 when both towns lost their independence and were frog-marched into the new Metropolitan Borough of Bradford.
Despite the efforts of many good people from Keighley, Ilkley and the surrounding areas, we have never since been in control of our own destiny with Bradford City Hall instead being empowered to chart our course.
And despite Keighley and Ilkley residents paying more in council tax than the three Bradford constituencies combined, we have seen a very poor return for our money. I have long believed the time has come for us to be given back responsibility for our own futures and allowed to set up our own local authority, perhaps in partnership with Shipley. But, before then, a huge threat awaits in the form of a Bradford-based directly elected mayor being handed significant powers and resources to shape our lives. Decisions on schools, adult social care, regenerations projects, road repairs, frequency of bin collections and grant funding will be his or her sole responsibility. Such an outcome would, in my view, be a disaster for Keighley and Ilkley.
This is not about party politics, it is about what is in the best interests of everyone who lives here. I therefore urge readers, no matter who you intend to support in the local elections being held on the same day, to put Keighley and Ilkley first by voting “no” in the mayoral referendum on Thursday, May 3.
Member of Parliament for Keighley & Ilkley