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‘Action needed to smarten up Ilkley’
A councillor has presented images of rubbish in shop doorways and rusting street furniture to colleagues in a bid to trigger debate on maintaining standards of care for Ilkley town centre.
Councillor Mike Ridgway gave a presentation to Ilkley Parish Council on Monday showing the results of an early-morning survey he carried out checking the town’s streets.
“I believe there’s a need for investment in Ilkley with the prime objective of improving the maintaining the general housekeeping and presentational standard of the town,” he said.
He took photographs of cracked paving stones, patched-up asphalt footpaths, rubbish in shop doorways, out-of-date signs advertising events, A-boards left out in the street overnight, piles of leaves under public benches, and rusty waste bins and street furniture.
“The Grove, our most prestigious thoroughfare, looks like a patchwork quilt,” he said.
“The town of Ilkley is at a crossroads. It can decline further, to being a tatty town, or it could become a smart town.”
Coun Ridgway asked fellow parish councillors if they could say they were proud to live in the town.
And he said landlords of town centre shops and offices should be told they have a responsibility to the town in maintaining the appearance of their premises.
Coun Ridgway also criticised dated foreign language tourist information sheets available from Ilkley Visitor Information Centre, and areas at Station Plaza once occupied by hedges, which are now bare soil.
Other councillors welcomed Coun Ridgway’s findings, and asked what could be done to improve standards.
Councillor Stephen Butler, who previously brought up the idea of a town centre manager for Ilkley, said it needed someone to find out whose responsibility it is to do various tasks around streets, and tell them about work needing to be done.
He said: “If we had a town centre manager that person could take up responsibility for going around all these problems and making sure something happens.
“That’s something the parish council doesn’t have the resources to do at the moment.”
Parish council chairman and district councillor, Mike Gibbons, said he felt the responsibility was on Bradford Council to raise the standards across the whole district.