I have received several letters asking how and why I used the mayor’s casting vote at the Ilkley Town Council extraordinary meeting on Tuesday evening. I thought I would explain.

The casting vote provision ensures that important decisions can be made promptly, preventing prolonged debates or disputes leading to stalemates. We were in an extraordinary meeting, which I agreed to call, precisely because we needed to reach an unambiguous decision and make progress.

The electorate chose the make-up of the council, which reflects the ever more obvious 50:50 political split in the town. So, I am called on more often than any of my predecessors to consider using the mayor’s casting vote. It is absolutely right that I use the vote when I have to. If a single member of the council voted a different way from their “whip” then I would not have to do so. I am afraid this was not likely at this meeting.

I use the vote sparingly. Almost always to preserve the status quo – supporting the existing policy of our council and/or to ensure we fulfil our fiduciary responsibility - acting in the best interest of the organisation.

There were 10 motions and eight amendments on the agenda last Tuesday, I used the casting vote twice. Once to reach a position of unambiguous support for the council’s existing commitment to 20mph throughout Ilkley and Ben Rhydding. And then to reaffirm that we would honour our financial and contractual commitments to a partnership body.

I am content that I used the vote for the right reasons, for the good of the council and residents.

Cllr Karl Milner

Ilkley mayor