Labour has selected six local residents to stand in the Ilkley Town Council election on the 4th of May.
The group will run under a slogan calling for “A Fairer, Safer and Greener Ilkley and Ben Rhydding”
Their election leaflet, due out from next week, will highlight that nearly two and half million pounds of residents' money will be spent by the next Town Council stressing the need to “run an efficient and transparent council where every penny counts.”
After consulting on the Town’s priorities post-election, the candidates hope to maximise the funding that goes directly to local community groups, focusing on those that make the town a fairer, safer, and greener place to live, while continuing to support important civic events, from Ilkley Pride and Carnival to the Half Marathon.
Other priorities include improving allotment provision and acting as championing voice for the town with local, regional, and national government.
Amanda Simmonds, a solicitor specialising in elder law and tax, and Karl Milner, a company director and investor in small business start-ups, are both standing in Ilkley South.
Simmonds, who has lived in the town for eighteen years and is a keen wildlife photographer and member of Wharfedale Naturalists, said: “I’ve been motivated to stand because I treasure our town’s open spaces, biodiversity, and community.
“I hope my approachable attitude and recent experience championing equity, diversity and inclusion as Deputy Head of Professional Standards for my industry body will allow me to serve our town.”
Milner, who serves as the Chair of Improving Ilkley, said: “I’m proud to have played a role in supporting the refurbishment of the Brook Street fountain and building and maintaining the flowerbeds at the Station Plaza.
“I am dedicated to improving our community and environment and hope to bring my experience as a trustee of Community Links, a mental health charity, and facilitating the re-wilding project at Denton Hall to our Town council.”
Linda Brown and Jane Gibson have both lived in Ilkley for over twenty years and are standing in Ben Rhydding.
Brown, who recently retired as a family social worker, said: “My three children all attended Ben Rhydding Primary School and Ilkley Grammar School.
“Ilkley is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. If elected, I pledge to do all that I can to protect and improve this community and environment for the benefit of all, making it a safe and vibrant place to live for all of us.”
Gibson, a former teacher and special educational needs coordinator, said: “I am an organiser and participant in several of our town’s groups and charities.
“I want to become a Town Councillor so that I can play a more active role in delivering a sustainable local environment, enhance our town’s facilities, and support the caring community of which Ilkley is rightly proud.”
Fred Brown, standing in Ilkley West, said: “I have lived in Ilkley for 20 years, attending Ben Rhydding Primary and Ilkley Grammar. I feel privileged to have grown up in this vibrant town with stunning countryside on my doorstep.
“I now work in communications, policy and stakeholder engagement for MPs, including John Grogan, and various campaign groups. I treasure Ilkley and want to see it grow as a fairer, safer and greener town for years to come.”
Nick Ryle, standing in Ilkley North, said: “As a documentary maker, for me, it is all
about stories and I believe there is a great story to be told about how a Labour Town Council could bring outside-the-box thinking and real improvements for the people of Ilkley.
“This is a very special town with a unique mix of people and businesses and it deserves advocates that will drive its possibilities and have the imagination and courage to address its problems.”
On the proposed 20mph zone, Matthew Topham, the candidates election agent, said: “If elected, the local Labour team will support the plans to improve road safety and encourage walking and cycling, but with an emphasis on signage over engineering.
"Where any works are considered, we would favour speed tables, such as those outside Coronation Hospital or Ben Rhydding School, rather than speed humps such as those in Burley Woodhead.”
Further information about the local elections in May is available on the Bradford Council website: www.bradford.gov.uk/your-council/elections-and-voting/elections-on-4-may-2023/
Click here see the full list of persons nominated for each ward. Ilkley is split into five wards; Ilkley South (14D), Ben Rhydding (14E and 14C), Ilkley North (14B), and Ilkley West (14A).