The Ilkley Annual Town Meeting was held at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 17th in the Clarke Foley Centre.
Organised by the Town Mayor on behalf of the Town Council, this provided an opportunity for residents to hear about the work of the Town Council. Councillors and residents were able to meet physically (albeit socially distanced) for the first time in over a year.
The Town Mayor Councillor Mark Stidworthy briefly outlined the activities of the Town Council's Committees, which were re-organised during 2020 to reflect twin priorities of community engagement and environmental action. The aim was a purposeful and accountable organisation utilising the skills and enthusiasms of Town Councillors and staff and respecting the choices of electors in the May 2019 local election. Activity had continued despite a move to remote meetings as a result of Covid-19. Tribute was paid to the solidarity shown by community organisations, Bradford Council and Ilkley townsfolk in response to the virus, in which the Town Council had played its part.
Two presentations followed about the transformation in Ilkley's riverside parks. The first, from Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks, championed the work of their volunteers, outlined future plans and acknowledged the support of many others including the Town Council. Bradford Council's Ilkley Ward Officer then explained how Bradford was working alongside the Friends in developing the parks.
Members of the public were able to comment and ask about the work of the Council, and thanks were expressed for the hard work and support provided by Town Council staff, in particular the previous Clerk Louise Close and previous Deputy Clerk Helen Gibbs for the contributions they had made over the last year. Ruth Batterley, who has recently taken over as Clerk to the Council, was introduced and welcomed.
At the end of the meeting, flowers were presented to Sue Gledhill, Bradford Council's Ilkley Ward Officer, to mark her imminent retirement. Many attendees were eager to express their gratitude for the huge contribution she has made serving Ilkley over the years.