A local election candidate has criticised Bradford Council for refusing to allow political party Ukip to put up a gazebo for campaigning in Ilkley town centre.
Ilkley resident, Paul Latham, who is to stand in this year’s Bradford Council elections, took the issue before Ilkley Parish Council in a bid to draw attention to the ruling.
Local Ukip members wanted to set up their portable gazebo in Ilkley and Keighley when campaigning over this year’s Bradford Council and European Parliament elections But Bradford Council officers claimed it could be an obstruction to pedestrians or a threat to motorists.
Mr Latham, chairman of Ukip’s Yorkshire Dales branch, believes the structure would not cause a problem if sited next to the bandstand area on The Grove.
He and other Ukip members used the gazebo on The Grove on October 29, and received a letter from Bradford Council the following day, telling him its use was prohibited under the 1980 Highways Act.
“In Ilkley, the unit was set up behind the roadway and line of the pathway, adjacent to the bandstand area, on which a builder’s vehicle was parked all day,” said Mr Latham.
The party has used the gazebo without issue in North Yorkshire towns, he says, and he checked with police before setting it up in Ilkley.
Bradford Council principal engineer Keith Escritt said the party has been told a gazebo will not be allowed on a pedestrian area of the footpath.
“A footpath and pedestrian area is part of the public highway and a gazebo could still cause an obstruction, distract motorists, and, being a flimsy structure, it could blow away. This happened with an unlicensed gazebo that was erected illegally in Shipley,” said Mr Escritt.
“We have no objection to the leafleting activities, but we wouldn’t allow any political party to put a gazebo up in this area.”