ACTION is needed in education, healthcare and social services provision in Wharfedale, an Ilkley councillor has warned.

Bradford councillor Martin Smith (Con, Ilkley) says he was left “agog” at local authority assumptions that Ilkley has enough school places because some young people choose to go to schools outside the Bradford District.

In a report to Bradford Council’s executive last week, officers said there was not sufficient demand to justify building a new secondary school in Wharfedale.

The report was prepared in response to a petition calling on Bradford Council to actively seek Government funding for adequate secondary school provision to meet current and future demand.

Council leader, Councillor David Green said the authority was not allowed to take into account any proposed housing developments when planning school places.

But Cllr Smith, who was unable to attend the meeting, hit out at the response to the petition.

He told The Ilkley Gazette: “Bradford are obsessed by boundaries its about time not only in education but in health and social services joined-up thinking and action is taken for the benefit of the residents not the bureaucracy.

“If we have increased numbers in the first schools then it is common sense that the only upper school is oversubscribed. Yes, pupils go to St Mary’s, which can be nearer to home, but it, I am sure, is not their preferred school.

“Clearly a new free school in the area would surely provide opportunities for Menston/ Burley and assist Leeds on the overcrowding at Guiseley.”

The petition was presented to the committee by Peter Smeaton, a governor at Ilkley Grammar School, who told The Ilkley Gazette: “The 1,700 signatories that signed the petition will be disappointed to learn that their views had been dismissed even before the debate began.

“The meeting agenda recommended that the executive approve a report that stated no further action is required. The report itself had not been circulated to all attendees and so there was no opportunity to question its integrity.

“In short this was a fast-track process for the council to perform their statutory obligations and no more. I suggest the petitioners and Wharfedale voters consider their options at the forthcoming elections and fast track some of the executive members out of office.

“On behalf of the petitioners the report will be reviewed in detail and a response will be provided to the public examination of the Bradford Local Plan.”