CALLS are being made to remove Ilkley from tighter lockdown restrictions amid widespread anger at the “unfair” decision to include the town.

Ilkley’s inclusion in the clampdown on Bradford and other parts of the north has sparked outrage among residents who say they have been following the rules to stop new Covid-19 cases.

The town’s MP Robbie Moore and the three ward councillors have all been contacted by local people who are angry at what they see as an injustice.

This week Mr Moore said he was calling for the situation to be reviewed urgently.

He said: “Many residents from across Ilkley and Addingham have kindly contacted me to express their frustration about the new localised Covid restrictive measures. It is disappointing that the rules have been applied to an area which based on the latest data sets are showing no new Covid cases. I totally appreciate the frustration this has caused as I know many families and businesses in our community have been working exceptionally hard to keep the transmission levels as low as possible.

“I have been informed by Health Ministers that the decision to take a blanket-approach with regards to the area was made by Bradford Council, based on direction from the Council’s Director for Public Health. The area in which the restrictions applied was then approved by the government. The area merely follows the local authority’s boundary, rather than geographically following any finer analysis. In my view, this is frustrating as a blanket approach to this is not the most appropriate plan and the situation needs to be reviewed urgently. I have made my views known to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care; Matt Hancock who has informed me that all measures, including the area will be reviewed within a week.”

Cllr Kyle Green said: “I am continuing to press for the restrictions to be eased as soon as is safe. In addition I am continuing to ask why Ilkley has been included in the latest restrictions given the evidence suggests Ilkley is not seeing the same challenges as other areas in the Bradford District.”

Cllr Anne Hawkesworth said she had been contacted by a 95-year-old woman who had been looking forward to seeing her family but who had to tell them not to come, and by a mother whose young son would now have to go to the park to see friends instead of seeing them safely in his garden.

“It does seem ridiculous that many who have been obeying the letter are being restricted now and almost being forced out into the wider world,” she said.

Cllr Hawkesworth said: “Now I am very keen on doing the right thing and social distancing. But in a town where we have had floods of people coming and mixing in large numbers I would have thought it sensible for us to be in our own back gardens -socially distanced- with two or four others.”

She said local people had been following social distancing rules and felt it was a “little bit stupid” that they were locked into” this notional boundary of Bradford”.

Cllr Mike Gibbons said: “I am pressing for these measures to be eased in terms of Ilkley and Wharfedale.

“There is frustration that a broad brush approach has been taken to this and there is anger at the unfairness of it.”

“We have all seen on TV obvious cases of people not socially distancing at celebrations and events,” he said.

Woodroyd Gardens resident Andie Harper, wrote to the Ilkley Gazette to criticise the decision, which he described as “nonsense”.

“Despite having a Leeds postmark we are regarded as Bradford because we pay them our council tax and that is hugely unfair to a town which has done its utmost to remain virus free. My wife cannot now visit her mother in a superb local care home which has had no cases of the disease even though previous meetings meant standing outside and having a quick chat to her mother who remained inside and our grandsons cannot now come and visit in our garden.”

The tighter clampdown, which bans people from different households meeting indoors or in their own gardens, applies to the whole of Bradford District as well as Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire.