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Mayor welcomes compulsory wearing of face coverings in shops

Ilkley Mayor, Cllr Mark Stidworthy, has welcomed the Government announcement this week that from July 24 all those entering shops and supermarkets must wear a face covering, saying “is a common sense disease control measure, as well as an act of courtesy and consideration for others.” Shoppers who flout the rules face a possible £100 fine.

Cllr Mark Stidworthy said: “Covid-19 cases in Bradford District are reducing but the virus remains a risk, and we must remain vigilant to protect ourselves from further infection.

The last few weeks have shown that reopening the town, parks and Moor brings new challenges, and the willingness of Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Police to listen to residents’ concerns has been welcome.

The commitment and professionalism shown by businesses around the town to reorganise for the safe return of the public has been impressive, and the leadership shown by Ilkley BID deserves thanks.

Shopping and eating out locally are key factors for Ilkley’s revival, with 1 in 3 jobs in Ilkley at risk from a coronavirus downturn. If we are to maintain an attractive town centre with quality retail and hospitality opportunities for the enjoyment of all, supporting local businesses is very important.

Scientific evidence shows that widespread use of face coverings reduces viral transmission when used in addition to social distancing.

My opinion and that of many health professionals is that wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces is a common sense disease control measure, as well as an act of courtesy and consideration for others.

Although not without problems, this simple act can boost confidence and create an environment that feels safer for the more vulnerable venturing back into public spaces. It is normal in Scotland and many other countries. I encourage residents to consider this seriously as they move around Ilkley."

Cllr Stidworthy also commented:

“Some activities have resumed, but those in many of Ilkley’s most valued cultural amenities cannot, including the Ilkley Playhouse, the Manor House, the Kings Hall and Winter Gardens, and those within shared spaces such as the Clarke Foley Centre, church buildings, community centres and some sports clubs.

After months without events or lettings income, their situation remains uncertain and difficult. Many of us have rediscovered the deep importance to personal well-being of the arts, sport and other activities that bring us together. I hope our town will find ways to ensure that all of these survive and thrive into the future.”

The Ilkley Coronavirus Response Group still meets every two weeks and is now within the Ilkley Community Network. The group continues to support vulnerable residents, coordinated by CABAD and undertaken by Ilkley Good Neighbours and local volunteers.

If you or others find themselves in need of support, the helpline 07375 803 693 remains ready to listen each weekday, and other help is available such as our local NHS MyWellbeing College (


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