The Mayor of Ilkley Mark Stidworthy is leaving the role after four years, and has also announced that he won't be standing for re-election as a town councillor.
Elections to the town council are due to take place on Thursday 4th May, with a new Mayor then selected at the Annual Meeting of Ilkley Town Council on Monday 22nd May.
Councillor Stidworthy said: “It has been a great privilege to have represented Ilkley South Ward as a Liberal Democrat for the last six years, and to have been Ilkley’s Mayor since 2019.
"Being a Town Councillor and Mayor have been unique opportunities to get to know and understand the town that I love. I have enjoyed meeting the many people, organisations and businesses working all year round to make Ilkley a stronger and healthier community. I thank all those, including fellow Town Councillors, who have supported one another in so many ways through challenging times.
"I tried to be constructive, progressive, inclusive and forward-looking as Mayor. I have offered all the time and enthusiasm I could to the role over the last four years and feel it is now right to step down. I hope that energetic voices will emerge bringing new perspectives and ideas, and I invite residents who care about our town to consider standing for election themselves on May 4th. Whether you have a particular party-political perspective or wish to be independent, our town needs people of integrity, kindness and personal commitment to our local community to represent it on the Town Council and bring shared experience to address future challenges.
"I thank the Town Council’s committed staff team for their continuing hard work and extend my good wishes to future Town Councillors and my successor as Mayor as they serve our wonderful town in the future.”
Responding to the news, former Labour MP and prospective parliamentary candidate John Grogan said: "The Mayor has served Ilkley with distinction and although a committed Liberal Democrat he has sought to lead a council which works across party lines and steer the town in a progressive direction. His style has always been a very inclusive one. He was the first non-Conservative to chair the Council in many a long year and together with others he has ensured issues of the environment in particular have received much greater prominence locally in the last four years. In particular his calm measured but friendly manner was crucial to Ilkley as it dealt with the recent pandemic."
Elections for all fourteen Ilkley Town Council seats will take place on Thursday 4th May. If you are interested in finding out more about what Town Councillors do, or how to be nominated as a candidate in Town Council elections, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.