A group keen to create a local council to serve Bingley and five neighbouring communities has taken a leap forward thanks to a £10,000 government grant.
The Bingley Community Council Group (BCCG) has started informal consultations on the creation of a town, parish or community council covering Bingley, Cottingley, Crossflatts, Eldwick, Gilstead and Micklethwaite.
Its efforts are now being funded by £10,000 from the New Councils’ Programme run by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).
The Programme encourages communities up and down the country to set up new parish councils, with changes in legislation and fresh investment making it easier to do so.
BCCG chairman Ros Dawson said: “This is brilliant news. This grant funding and support is a major boost and will make a huge difference to our campaign. Our group is committed to serving Bingley and its communities.
“We believe the area will be a better place to live and work if we have a council which, amongst other benefits, will give residents a democratic voice and more say about what they want to happen locally.”
The £10,000 grant will cover campaign costs including producing literature and holding community meetings and Mrs Dawson said all expenditure would be closely monitored.
“It will be totally accounted for and, for example, any expense over £100 will have to be put out to tender.”
The funding is administered through the Yorkshire Local Councils Association (YLCA) which has helped BCCG secure the grant. The National Association of Local Councils is running a ‘Create A Council Week’ campaign from May 19 to celebrate the work of groups such as the Bingley Community Council Group.
The campaign urges people to “put the heart back in their communities” and is set to become the largest ever celebration of neighbourhood democracy.
NALC chairman Ken Browse said: “NALC and YLCA are delighted to fund the Bingley Community Council Group’s campaign for a new Community Council in Bingley.
“The £10,000 awarded will be very well spent on the campaign infrastructure the group needs to deliver what will be a statutory mouthpiece for Bingley residents.”
Chairman of Bingley Civic Trust Dr John Findlay added: “We would strive to ensure the council doesn’t become political but unites residents and tackles pressing local issues.”