RETIRING councillors were thanked for their hard work at a meeting of Ilkley Town Council.

Outgoing mayor Cllr Steve Butler presented certificates of merit in recognition of long and distinguished service to former district councillor Martin Smith, former town councillors Brian Mann and Andrew Wallbank -in his absence - and to Graham Peacock for his service to the civic society, neighbourhood plan group and local scout movement.

Cllr Butler also reflected on his two years in office, highlighting particularly the importance of Ilkley’s volunteer community for the town. He thanked the council staff, and stressed the need for an effective council to work together as a team. He praised the work and commitment of all the councillors who had stood down or were not elected.

In turn Cllr Butler was thanked by new mayor Cllr Mark Stidworthy for the vigour with which he pursued his civic role, championing the role of volunteers in the town.

Cllr Stidworthy noted the support Cllr Butler had received from his wife Kate Butler, herself a busy councillor. He also thanked the retiring members for their many years of service.