TIGHTER security is being called for at allotments in Ilkley after vandals ripped off doors and slashed at equipment with knives.

The attack, on February 14, caused serious damage to the Leeds Road plots and now allotments holders are asking for the site to be made more secure.

Allotment holder Maurice Wilson took their case to Ilkley Parish Council this week where he described the damage that had been caused.

Mr Wilson said the attack had been “sheer vandalism” and he asked councillors to work with allotment holders to protect the site.

He argued the allotments were not getting any maintenance from the council . He said it was the council’s responsibility to service the outside fence but he claimed this was not being done. He asked councillors to organise a site visit to see how security could be stepped up.

Mr Wilson said reports from Leicestershire showed how the police and others could work together to make sites secure - using an “onion” system, where security is stepped up layer by layer, from the outside in.

Parish council chairman Stephen Butler said they would look into the problem and speak to the police to see what they could come up with.

During the meeting councillors agreed to increase allotments rents by 10 per cent, from £54 per year, including water, to £59.40 per year.

The increase will come into effect in April 2019, and the new rate will be comparable to that charged in other areas, Cllr Butler said. He told the meeting the allotment rent did not go up last year.

Cllr Mike Gibbons suggested that members should approve the increase and should put the issue of security on the agenda for their next meeting. There will also be a site visit.

Cllr Mark Stidworthy asked if the rent rise was justified and whether it was enough to carry out the necessary work.

The parish council took over the running of the allotments from Bradford Council in 2007. At the time it was the first service to be devolved from Bradford to Ilkley.