A request for information about an Ilkley Parish Council award may be the first stage of a complaints process, councillors have been warned.

Acting parish council clerk, Rosie Sanderson, told the council last week a request had been received asking for more details of an award given to Christchurch.

She said the information had been sent out, but received an e-mail making reference to this being the first stage of a complaint against the council.

Chairman, Councillor Mike Gibbons said he did not understand why the request would be part of a complaint process - and he warned it could cost the taxpayer.

He said: “It remains to be seen whether a complaint comes forward, but as councillors we’ll need to be aware this comes with a cost attached. I’d like everybody to understand that please.

“A similar previous situation cost this council and the people of Ilkley a substantial sum of money. I think we should be aware that that’s always a possibility and could have a budgetary impact.”

The Parish Council had to foot the bill of an external audit process last year, after a formal objection was made to the council’s accounts.