A GROUP hoping to set up a town council for Shipley has held the first of its public meetings to make its case.

The Campaign for Shipley Town Council is holding a number of events to gauge support for its plan to create a new parish council, similar to town councils that currently operate in Baildon and Bingley.

The group had its first public event in Saltaire Methodist Church on Saturday where members put forward their arguments and answered questions from people “not yet convinced” of the merits of a new council.

The event saw talks by Councillor Joe Ashton, of Baildon Town Council, Si Cunningham, chair of Bradford Civic Society, and Ulrike Knox, of the Saltaire Village Society.

The council would also include Saltaire. If it were to go ahead, Bradford Council would still be responsible for services such as bin collections and highway repairs.

However, those who attended the meeting were told there would be several benefits of a local council, despite limited powers.

Cllr Ashton said: “A town council can represent people’s views and create a sense of place, even without many powers. It can supplement what other councils are already doing. They can also help promote tourism, what a wonderful power to have in a place like Saltaire.”


He pointed to the work Baildon Town Council had recently done in re-opening the town’s toilets after they were earmarked for closure by Bradford Council. He pointed out that if Shipley had a town council it could help with the campaign to re-open the town’s public toilets, along with Saltaire’s toilets.

Some residents questioned the cost of a town council – which would be funded by a precept added to each household’s council tax bill – estimated to be around £15 for a Band D property. But speakers said with even more central Government cuts looming in the coming years, a town council may be one of the only ways to safeguard services.

After the meeting, Rob Martin, who set up the campaign, said: “It was very useful to us to be asked questions and listen to comments from people who were not yet convinced about the merits of a town council for Shipley.”

The next event will be on Saturday, June 16, at St Peter’s on Moorhead Lane, starting at 1.30pm. For more information on the campaign, visit cstc.uk/