CAMPAIGNERS trying to form a town council for Shipley are to launch phase two of their efforts.

The Campaign for a Shipley Town Council (CSTC) says it has approaching 40% of the signatures needed to ask Bradford Council to formally consider a Town Council.

And now the group is launching fresh publicity and will be distributing petition leaflets to sign.

“The response to our campaign has been strong and enthusiastic, allowing us to build real momentum,” said CSTC chairman Rob Martin.

“Our challenge now is to turn this into action and we will be working with BMDC to drive a formal local consultation.

“Town councils are a tried and tested success in the Bradford area with 19 already established and representing local areas. Shipley needs a voice!”

Before a Town Council can be established, Bradford Council has to conduct a Governance Review as a formal test of local demand. A Governance Review must be held if the Council receives a valid petition signed by 7.5% of the electors in the area.

Some other district councils allow similar campaigns to submit an electronic petition and Bradford Council accepts electronic petitions for other topics, but not as a trigger for a Town Council governance review. The CSTC says it will to ask the Council to justify this position and to push for an electronic petition to be accepted.

Following advice received from the Minister for Local Government, the campaigners will also ask Bradford Council to use their discretionary powers to trigger a Governance Review ahead of the formal petition. This would potentially save the Council money and allow CSTC to focus on providing education about the powers and benefits of a town council.

The campaign has thanked the collection points where voters can return the petition: The Triangle (Bradford Road), Tambourine (Gordon Terrace), Rad Studio (Victoria Road), Q20 (Dockfield Road), Kirkgate Centre (Kirkgate).

From its launch in May 2018, the CSTC says public engagement has built strong awareness and support. A Summer Solstice event with music and a local quiz featured local musicians Eddie Lawler and Nick Hall writing songs for the event.

It says feedback has been very positive and highlighted a number of emotive local issues including demolition of the Branch Pub and the Oddfellows Hall; the potential crematorium site in Northcliffe Park; renewed plans for a Shipley bypass; and closure of public assets such as toilets and the Visitor Information Centre in Saltaire World Heritage site

The proposed 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.

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.