I want to respond to a few points made by John Grogan in his letter, Ilkley Gazette online.

It is true that the Conservatives rejected a backroom deal to decide who would be mayor each year, even though we may have benefited from it. We believed that it was up to each of the 14 councillors, not a parliamentary candidate, to decide who they thought would be the best mayor. When the vote was tied, it is a shame that the outgoing mayor used his casting vote to make an explicitly political choice, rather than choosing the more experienced candidate.

Mr Grogan gives a rather selective account of the town council’s extraordinary meeting. The so-called Progressives voted against four separate amendments which called for further public consultation. They also rejected amendments to support a 20mph limit ‘where needed’ and to seek to ‘renegotiate’ (not walk away from) the agreement with Bradford Council.

It is clear what Mr Grogan is trying to do. When Bradford inevitably removes a few more road humps from the scheme, he will claim that he has brokered a sensible and moderate compromise. In reality, the original full-fat plans were probably always going to be watered down to make the eventual, still excessive, version appear reasonable.

Finally, I do not know whether there will be a parish poll, but I am worried that Mr Grogan appears to be trying to undermine the result of it already. In the full version of his letter, published on his website, he notes that ‘the result [of a recent parish poll in Keighley] made no difference to policy’. Let us hope the same does not happen in Ilkley. I hope that all local politicians would respect the result, whatever that might be.

Andrew Loy

Conservative, Ilkley