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Will Ilkley miss out in the big cash carve-up?
Road maintenance and other Bradford Council services in Ilkley could miss out as responsbility is devolved to Keighley area councillors, it is feared.
Bradford Council’s Keighley Area Committee will hear the latest today on plans to devolve key services to committees representing each of the district’s five areas.
The Keighley Area Committee – representing Keighley and its surrounding communities as well as Ilkley and Addingham – could take on responsibility for non-urgent highway repairs, street cleansing, public toilets, parks and green spaces under a review of service provision.
Bradford Council’s ruling Executive has considered the devolution of services and identified an approach and a number of services to devolve.
Meanwhile, it was revealed this week that more council jobs could be lost district-wide as the authority struggles to make a £30 million reduction in next year’s budget.
Ilkley ward councillor Anne Hawkesworth is concerned the devolution of responsibilities and funding for the work required could mean a reduction in services in the Ilkley area long-term.
Coun Hawkesworth has argued against standardised budgets for services in each area of the district, pointing out different areas have different needs.
She highlighted the level of maintenance for former trunk roads in the Ilkley and Craven area such as the A65 and facilities such as the Manor House Museum, which other areas do not have.
“Ilkley must not lose out,” she said.
“Keighley Area has three major centres. It also has parks in those areas and two museums.”
The devolved funding budget for non-urgent and non-emergency road repairs will be presented to the Keighley Area Committee in April, following the completion of a council review of service provision.
Urgent and emergency highways repairs are likely to remain the responsibility of Bradford Council centrally. Reports to the committee this week suggest other potential devolved budgets could tally with current service provision.
There are also worries the devolution of responsibility for many council services could also lead to competition between different parts of the Keighley Area for scarce resources.
Coun Hawkesworth fears the division of funding for services in different wards could “get political” once devolved to the area committee.