A WHARFEDALE village's long campaign for its own parish council has finally been won.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has signed the order granting Burley-in-Wharfedale residents their own parish council, breaking away from the current Ilkley parish.

The Ilkley Parish Review also gives Menston its own parish council, which will be set up in the coming financial year.

Elections for the two new parish councils are expected to take place early in May, but Bradford Council officers are expected to help set up the two councils, beginning next month.

Burley Community Council, which began the drive for the parish review and collected the signatures of residents in support for a separate parish council, welcomed the announcement.

Chairman, Bruce Speed, said: "It's obviously great news, because it's been a long process. It should have happened last year, but for whatever reasons it didn't.

Nomination papers for those wishing to stand for the parish council elections are expected to be made available later this month.

Burley representatives on Ilkley Parish Council will be offering advice and information on standing for election to Burley Parish Council.

The councillors will be at the Burley Roundhouse on March 18, between 9.30am and 2.30pm.

Chairman of Menston Community Association, Peter Ward, was also pleased to hear the go-ahead had at last been given.

"I'm pleased that it's going to happen and all the uncertainly of the last year or two has gone," he said. "We're all looking forward to the May elections."

He said the community association is about to embark on campaign to encourage villagers to consider standing for the new council.

Ilkley Parish Council chairman, Councillor Mike Gibbons, said: "I'm pleased that notification has finally come through, so that all parties know where they stand and can move forward with their plans for the future. It's good to know that it's all sorted."

The parish council recently came to an agreement with representatives of Burley Community Council and Menston Community Association, to split an estimated £90,000 left in parish funds between the three communities.

This will be divided according to the number of voters in each community.

Ilkley Parish Council recently agreed its budget for Ilkley and Ben Rhydding households in the financial year ahead, featuring an increase in the parish precept of around 55 per cent for the average household.

The council said the rise is in part to continue many council activities and awards schemes which have previously been funded by the combined Council Tax payers of Ilkley, Burley and Menston.

New precepts in Burley and Menston, however, will mean residents on the two villages will pay less for their own parish councils.