Campaign to get Guiseley its own council begins

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Guiseley residents are being asked this week to support a campaign to create the area’s own Town Council.

Leaflets are being delivered to households across the area inviting people to sign an online petition in favour of the move.

Efforts to establish a town council, in a bid to boost local democracy, began years ago and signatures for a previous petition were collected in the early 2000s.

Now campaigners – boosted by a £1,000 grant from the national New Local Councils Programme – are hoping to regain momentum and collect 1,000 signatures within a few weeks.

The grant, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, has paid for the printing and distribution of the petition leaflet which directs residents to ipetitions.com/petition/guiseley-town-council. The funding was secured with the help of the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations, whose deputy chief officer Chris Pilkington has visited the Guiseley and Rawdon Community Forum to talk about the importance of grassroot councils.

Guiseley town council campaign co-ordinator David Bowe said: “We are delighted that the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations have been able to help facilitate this grant assistance.

“It means that our door-to-door canvass to collect residents’ signatures can be supplemented by collecting signatures electronically.

“This will mean that we can now hope to reach our target of one thousand signatures within weeks, rather than the months we previously envisaged.”

Mr Pilkington said: “We are very pleased to give support to this excellent local campaign to establish a town council in Guiseley.

“Town and parish councils are a long established and fundamental building block of our democracy.”

The petition leaflet makes the case for a town council that would “listen to local opinion and act as a voice of local residents”, and play an important role in promoting the area and controlling new development.

Noting that a parish council has recently been set up in Rawdon, it continues: “We recognise there are pros and cons in setting up a town council. Some people think it would be a positive step, allowing us to do more in our area. Others may think it is an unnecessary extra tier of bureaucracy and a waste of money.

“This petition does not commit us to anything. It simply requests Leeds City Council to carry out a review of the idea. That would include consulting everyone in the area about their view before a decision is made.”

Paper copies of the petition can be signed by contacting Mr Bowe on (01943) 876196 / 877962 or 07711 636495.

  • An incorrect phone number was included at the end of the petition leaflet – the number should have read (01943) 876196.

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