Ilkley’s district councillors have called for more resources and firmer enforcement of measures which are meant to tackle anti-social behaviour at Ilkley’s riverside.
At a meeting of Bradford Council last week, Councillor Andrew Loy (Conservative, Ilkley & Ben Rhydding) put forward a motion which called on the Council to commit “sufficient attention and resources” and take “a more proactive approach” to enforcing the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) and the Council’s Hot Weather Plan.
This summer, particularly during periods of hot weather, hundreds of visitors flocked to Ilkley’s riverside. This led to the beaches being left covered in litter, such as bottles and barbecues, and there were instances of anti-social behaviour, including ‘tombstoning’ from the suspension bridge.
Councillor Loy said: “We all want visitors to be able to come to our town and enjoy our riverside, but the unacceptable behaviour of a minority needs to be tackled, and the Council has to be prepared to commit the resources to do that. I’m afraid the riverside has become a no-go area for many Ilkley residents in summer.
“The Council has to confront this issue now, otherwise we are going to see the same problems next summer, and every summer after that until the matter is taken seriously.”
The motion sought to tackle the problems by deploying more PSPO wardens and litter pickers, as well as working with the police to “take a more proactive approach to enforcing the PSPO and Hot Weather Plan”.
Councillor Kyle Green (Conservative, Ilkley & Ben Rhydding) added: “Every year we have the same issue. We start the year asking how the Council can help us over the summer, and we end the year asking the same question. Nothing ever changes because nothing is resourced properly. It has been a shambles for years.”
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Loy said: “Unfortunately the Council’s Labour majority opposed our calls for more resources and instead praised the current approach, which has been shown to be totally inadequate. However, we will continue to call for more to be done at every opportunity. We do not want to see the same problems again next year.”
Councillor Loy and Councillor Green also praised the efforts of volunteers from the Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks who help to litter pick in the area, in addition to their many other activities to improve and maintain Ilkley’s riverside parks.