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NEWSLETTER    FEBRUARY 2017

 

The Big Conservation Conversation

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Civic Amenities Act, which introduced conservation areas. Civic Voice is encouraging all societies to mark this occasion. We are in the process of formulating our activities which will centre on Civic Day which this year is on Saturday 17th June. There will be an exhibition at a central Ilkley venue and other activities are being organised, for which we will request members to volunteer. A separate note is being sent to members about this project.

 

The Manor House and Ilkley Manor House Trust

Negotiations with Bradford continue slowly.  We will let members know as soon as there is any more news.

 

Local Plan

We are still awaiting comments from the Secretary of State on the Core Strategy, before the next stage on site allocations. We still want the numbers for Ilkley to be reduced because of the constraints in the valley and the pressure on infrastructure, including the A65.

Planning – what we’ve objected to and why

Most of our comments have been on domestic developments although we have additionally put forward our views on ‘Non Material Amendments’  (that’s changes to you and me) on the McCarthy and Stone site on Mayfield Road and on some  minor changes at Tesco on Springs Lane to do with recycling arrangements and trolley shelters.

 

As usual we are keeping a note of windfall housing developments which we hope will count toward the Local Plan total (five, so far this year)

 

Friends of Ilkley Cemetery

We will start meeting again on the last Tuesday of each month on Tuesday 28th March for gardening and litter picking at Ilkley cemetery. We meet at 14.00 at the Beanlands Gates. Once again, the Tesco volunteers will be joining us.

Housing White Paper

To read all about the Housing White Paper visit:

http://www.civicvoice.org.uk/news/civic-voice-responds-to-governments-housing-white-paper/

 

Latest Transport News

Ilkley’s limited weekday bus connections up Wharfedale to Bolton Abbey and Grassington will be continuing this summer. We had feared that NYCC were going to withdraw the funding from Easter for the Saturday 74 Pride of the Dales service but we are pleased to hear that they have agreed with the operator for the service to continue until the end of October and there are no changes to the Monday and Wednesday 74A NYCC Minibus service at this time. Passenger numbers since last September have been sufficient to enable the services to continue. This is good news for local residents and businesses as well as visitors who want to explore Wharfedale and the National Park or walk The Dales Way. Details of DalesBus services serving Wharfedale on Sundays and Bank Holidays and up-to-date information on bus services operating across the Dales can be found at www.DalesBus.org  Information on DalesBus Summer timetables should be available by mid -April.

The new route and timetable of the 962 Hopper bus service that runs between Ilkley and Otley, which was introduced at the end of October, is continuing to cause problems and confusion for bus passengers. We understand that it has now been acknowledged and agreed to produce a new timetable leaflet incorporating a map of the route which it is hoped will make things somewhat clearer. Not sure of the exact timing of this but do let us know what you think and we will feed back to WYCA and the bus operator!

West Yorkshire Combined Authority met on 2nd February to agree their Corporate Plan and Budget for 2017/18. We are awaiting further details to understand what their decisions will mean for local transport in the Ilkley area but we note the following headline comments and figures in their Budget papers: “Whilst the transport levy is being cut by £1m the level of savings or cuts required by WYCA to produce a balanced budget total £2m. This is due in part to inflationary increases but is significantly affected by the lack of income from the Enterprise Zone business rates, with these falling short in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 compared to the costs of operating the required inward investment team. In order to balance the budget savings or cuts of £650k have been factored into the subsidised bus services line, £1m against debt financing costs and £350k against transport services. …..

The pressures on budgets intensify in subsequent years and in order to deliver further cuts to the transport levy as shown more work will be required to identify options to reduce services by potentially £3.5m.“  Neale Wallace from WYCA/Metro Bus Services Manager will be our speaker at our next meeting on Thursday 23rd February regarding “Future transport services – the impact on Ilkley” and hopefully he will also have something to say about the implications of the latest budget settlement.

Rail – the new franchise holders for Northern and Trans Pennine are still ‘bedding in’.  Re-liverying for TPE and the first thorough refresh for a Northern set are ongoing. User groups have requested combined route time tables be provided eg to York, Huddersfield etc. The duty is now on the rail groups to provide timetables and they have been asked to provide composite ones from May 2017.  

 

 

Roadworks in Ben Rhydding

Yorkshire Water is replacing the sewer on Bolling Road. The work is expected to take up to four months. Yorkshire Water staff advise that they are on target but have the maximum number of people working in the trenches that is safe. Yorkshire Water staff think they now know the extent of the problem, which is larger than anticipated. Traffic delays at times are considerable as there are three-way traffic lights at the corner of Wheatley Lane and Bolling Road. Much of the time these are on time-lapse. There have been several near misses at the railway bridge. Traffic signage has been improved, but entering from the side roads which are not light controlled can be hazardous, as if there’s no traffic moving a driver cannot tell which phase the lights are in.  Parking for the shops is largely suspended, which is problematic for people who can’t walk far and can’t be dropped off outside the café or hairdresser at the moment.  Parking in nearby streets can be horrendous at times. Only three more months to go….   

Sewage discharges

Wharfedale Naturalists have approached us about sewage discharges into the River Wharfe from the sewage works. These pose a health risk yet there is no warning signage for people who work, bathe, paddle, canoe or let their dogs in the water. We raised this at Ilkley Parish Council and with District Councillors and together we are pressing the authorities to do something about this urgently. The impact of another thousand houses in Ilkley when the sewage system is already beyond capacity at times is of deep concern. For more information contact Helen Kidman.

 

 

Incinerator

A large incinerator is proposed to be built in Airedale. It received planning approval from the Bradford Regulatory Committee last week, but was immediately called in by the Secretary of State for consideration by the Environment Agency. There are concerns that the plant will release particulate matter, chemicals, metals, dioxins and furans which will fall over a wide area. On a prevailing south west wind the plume will head straight for Ilkley, polluting our valley and the moor.

A Boards

The year-long A Board ban has resulted in the matter being referred to the Bradford Council Executive for discussion on 7th March 2017. We have made our views known in the position paper appended below. 

Visitor Information Centre          

The Civic Society has commented as part of the public consultation, which remains open until 5th March. A copy of what we have said is appended. We see the VIC as vital to both visitors and

residents and we want it to stay open.

Other Bradford Consultations

We have commented on both consultations on Street Cleaning and Public Toilets. We want street cleaning to continue (vital to prevent blocked drains and flooding) and the central toilets to stay open. Copies of what we have said are available from Helen Kidman.

Programme 2017

 February 23rd      Future transport services: the impact on Ilkley  -  with Neale Wallace  

March 23rd        Design & Conservation Awards Presentations

April 27th           AGM  & Ilkley's Bandstands and their      

          -               Yorkshire  Background    Illustrated talk -   Belinda Wassall

 

 

 

 

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Hon Sec – Kate Brown – 01943 604521

Chair – Helen Kidman – 01943 609154

 

Charity No: 1092549

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ILKLEY CIVIC SOCIETY   - OUR COMMENTS

 

VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE CONSULTATION

Tourism Review Document

We would like to see the TOR sent to Team Tourism, because it is difficult to understand how they could have drawn up the options based on the data that they have collected, unless they were directed from the outset as to the desired outcome by those commissioning the report. This would be a gross waste of public funds and an inappropriate basis for procuring external consultancy.

Ilkley is a growing town and tourism is an important industry in parts of the District. In the Local Plan, it is regarded as a ‘Principal Town’ on account of the services on offer.  Supporting the tourism industry in turn supports retail, arts, heritage, sports and education all of which are important employers in the area.  The council has a responsibility to promote tourism across the district, not simply in the city centre.

Whether tourists or residents, people who go to a VIC are all ‘visitors’. The concept of market segmentation in this manner is not relevant. Many people visiting Ilkley, for example, might regard it as ‘home’ either because they live here or used to live here. Their economic and social input into the area is of value regardless of where they come from.

It is not documented HOW the Bradford VIC will promote Ilkley, Haworth or Saltaire effectively. For example, will there be any VIC presence in tourist destinations at peak times? How will  Bradford based staff be trained? Local knowledge and enthusiasm for a locality – civic pride - is built up over time. People wishing to visit Ilkley, Haworth and Saltaire are highly unlikely to visit central Bradford on the way. It should be noted that accessing VIC information by internet/ mobile phone/ devices from Wharfedale isn’t always possible due to poor signals.

The Ilkley Offer page 11

This glib and patronising description would be amusing were it not so insulting. Visitors to Ilkley are attracted by a variety of activities not even mentioned on p11 such as:

Festivals, shows and events throughout the year

Classical chamber music concerts  -  renowned as the best in the country

Organised cycling both participating and spectating at events

Cycling visitors on cycle routes throughout the year

Night cycling both groups and individuals, including on the moor

Fell running

Rock Climbing and abseiling at Cow and Calf plus the climbing wall in town

Gym activities

Sports therapy / private health sector consultations

Fishing on River Wharfe

Open gardens (yellow book plus others)

Visiting sports teams and their supporters

Tennis tournaments

Theatre and Cinema

Arts Events

Hinterland – Bolton Abbey and Strid, Embsay railway, Beamsley and Washburn Valley

Choral music

Nell Bank

Swimming Pool and Lido

Geo-caching

Scout and Guide camp venues

Long distance footpaths 

Special landscapes, nature reserves, river and woodlands. Ornithology.

Carved Rocks  - people visit these from all over the world

Friends of Ilkley Moor - led activities on the moor

Equestrian events

Religious retreats

Museums, Art Galleries and heritage centre

University of the Third Age (U3A) classes and other FE

Heritage activities including guided walks

Architecture  - St Margaret s Church, St Johns, Heathcote  plus listed garden, other buildings of interest. Conservation  Areas (all three)

Summer schools

Many of Ilkley’s 350 voluntary sector organisations attract visitors to their events and activities including special events for older people and for children and families.

Other functions of the VIC

The Ilkley VIC acts as booking office for many Ilkley events. No consideration has been given as to this function will be taken forward if the VIC is closed. No one from, or visiting Ilkley is likely to go to Bradford to buy tickets for events in Ilkley. The use of this service is indicative that simply expecting people to book on line is unreasonable – they either do not have access or have various legitimate concerns about making on line payments.

Office Space available at Ilkley TH

There is an option to move the tourism ‘back office’ operation to Ilkley as there is spare BMD office space in Ilkley Town Hall. Is there potential for moving the Ilkley VIC into the library (back into its previous space) and sharing staff with the library? Why have these options not been set out and considered?

Use of Volunteers

No consideration has been given to a voluntary sector-run option. This option would not be without serious issues to address, not least guaranteeing an ongoing supply of volunteers with sufficient spare time to devote to the public good, particularly at a time when people are working longer and staying in employment into their late 60s.

We want to see the Ilkley VIC remain open and request that this possibility is added to the list of options.

A BOARD REVIEW - POSITION PAPER 2

Ilkley Civic Society has had concerns regarding the way the council has managed the pavements in Ilkley for some years, and in June 2014 submitted a position statement to the council.

With regards to the 2016 ban on all ‘A’ Boards we accept this has improved the situation for all users of pavements in the centre of Ilkley, but weare concerned that only one area of the problem has been targeted, ie retailers’ use of ‘A ‘ Boards.  We believe the trial was only ever going to be partially successful from the beginning because the Council ‘Report of the Strategic Director of Regeneration to the Executive’ dated 13 October 2015, whilst setting out to look at the overall problem, only came up with a solution to one issue, ie ‘A’ Boards.

We suspect no one would disagree that the key issue is to keep our pavements as safe and free from obstruction for all users as possible.  There are however many causes that restrict free movement, and the council has failed to address most of these areas - only ‘A ‘boards.  The other issues being as follows:

- Street furniture

- Cafe seating areas

- Display areas

- Pavement Parking

- Banners /flags

- Wheelie bins

- Pavement surfaces (public and private)

- Mobile food/ ice cream vans

- Cycle Racks

In order to be consistent, the council should have a policy that includes all of these issues.   As different issues occur in different areas of the council a ‘one size fits all policy’ may not be possible, and special cases may need to be made.

As mentioned, in June 2014 Ilkley Civic Society submitted a position statement regarding the council code of practice at the time ‘Control of advertising boards and display of goods on the highway pavements of the Bradford District’.  We note with some surprise that this code still applies in areas outside the trial areas, even though it did not work.  A copy of this position statement is enclosed and our views remain the same, namely that this policy is in virtually no one’s interest.

Regarding the current review (report to Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee of 8 December 2016) we are disappointed in a number of aspects as follows

$1-          Despite being mentioned as a consultee in the 12 October 2015 report to council our views were not acknowledged.  The ICS and, for the second time, other relevant organisations have not been invited to comment on the trial in the report of 8 December 2016.

$1-          A recommendation to the Executive, to continue and expand the scheme, was made on the 8 December before the views of businesses or anyone else has been considered.  As of 27 January 2017 a sample of independent businesses confirmed they had not been ‘approached ‘ to ‘seek’ information’ on the trial.

$1-          It is unreasonable to ask businesses to divulge ‘accounts’.  A more reasonable way would have been to ask businesses to monitor footfall before and during the trial to get an accurate measure of footfall.

$1-          The report does not spell out the extent of the term ‘urban centres ‘used a number of times in the report, or where they are.

$1-          The council has, under ‘4.0 Finance and Resource’, only considered the costs of management in terms of FTE roles, but has made no attempt to consider the potential income from all sources of pavement, such as licensing revenues currently received, and the potential of additional income from a limited ‘A’ Board scheme .

$1-          The report to the meeting of 8December 2016 includes 5 options but appears to suggest to the committee that option (b) is recommended to the Executive.  Is it not for the committee to decide which option to select - after businesses (and community groups) have been consulted?

$1-          We cannot understand why the existing flawed ‘Code of Practice’ is still being recommended for use in Transport Corridors

$1-          Appendix 1 of the report does not include any information for the committee on what documents were issued to businesses when the scheme was implemented

$1-          Ilkley Civic Society would not support the use of ‘instaplanta’ tubs in Ilkley and would suggest that far more imaginative methods of advertising exist for use in Conservation Areas.   These tubs have been rejected in the past by Ilkley in Bloom, and the advertising on them does not direct customers to the premises.

Ilkley Civic Society would suggest that a much more comprehensive policy is required to make life easier for all users of pavement which would:

$1-          Include all of the current obstructions to pavement users listed above.

$1-          Be more transparent in that all licensing should be displayed at the site of the permitted use.  This would become self-policing in time.

$1-          That council wardens, once trained and established in this subject, should be able to police this along with their many other duties, helped by having GIS and licensing information available on tablets.

$1-           Limited ‘A’ boards or similar should be allowed, with licensing, for off the beaten track businesses and those with no shop front, but only where an obstruction is not caused.  The reports continually state possible use of ‘A’ Boards outside shops.  This is not where they are needed as the shop window shows what is inside.  There should be a limit on the size of ‘A’ Boards that are licensed.

$1-          A separate review and consequent removal of all unnecessary council street furniture.

$1-          Other means of marketing of retail areas should be investigated with the business community, particularly for those businesses in out of the way locations.

Ilkley Civic Society

13 February 2017