The Big Conservation Conversation

Our exhibition and leaflet got national coverage through Civic Voice and was held up as an example of a good project at the recent Y&H Association of Civic Societies meeting at Hornsea.

There is just time to visit our exhibition at the library – it ends on Saturday 9th September. The 26th October civic society meeting will consider conservation issues in detail  - please come and take part.

Design and Conservation Awards

There’s still time to make your nominations – please let us know.


Visit the Civic Voice website for details of all sorts of events and opportunities across the country during the HODS weekend 7-10 September. If you’re going to Scotland, have a look at their Doors Open website.

The Ilkley Civic Society heritage walk is the around the Villas of West Ilkley on the Moor side and departs from Westwood Lodge at 2pm on Sunday 10th September. We suggest that people park cars at the Darwin Gardens.


As often happens in August, planning activity increased!  We have taken an interest in a number of plans recently. We are dismayed at the plan to demolish the original house at Undercrag on Hollin Hall Drive, rather than to renovate it. We continue to protest about the serial applications at West View, which seem to overlook the house in question is of some importance and in the conservation area. We objected to a barn conversion in Ben Rhydding which is in green belt. That application was subsequently refused.

Local Plan

The council voted to adopt the local plan and its 42 100 homes target, but revised government guidance is expected which will impact before Bradford reviews its green belt and gets round to site allocations. The National Policy Planning Framework is likely to be amended in that a transparent methodology for establishing housing need is to be proposed. This will challenge Bradford housing need and hopefully reduce it, reducing pressure on the green belt.

Neighbourhood Plan

We continue to contribute to research activity supporting the production of the neighbourhood plan.

Ilkley Archive

 A small group of members is working towards the creation of an Ilkley Archive, which we hope might be housed at the Manor House. There are many documents which have been in private hands for years which will be of interest to Ilkley’s local historians and it will be to everyone’s benefits to have these available in Ilkley rather than to have to go rather than to have to go to the WY Archives in Bradford or Morley. Much of the material will be in electronic format. There is lots of historical information on title deeds to do with land ownership which would be of interest to an archive – these can be scanned easily. Many people now hold their own title deeds as the Land Registry now has electronic records and the building societies have disposed of their warehousing facilities.   Title deeds are interesting documents for families and local historians alike.

A Boards

The A Boards ban has come into place Bradford-wide. Businesses may not place their A Boards on the pavement although they can continue to display them on private land.  A small group is now looking at alternative advertising means by which businesses may advertise, including street light banners.  ICS is contributing to these discussions, which we would like to consider all street furniture and signage, including banners hung from street lighting and advertising attached to railings, fences and buildings.

YHACS and Civic Voice

The next Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies (YHACS) meeting will be at 1pm on September 30th at Bradford City Hall and includes a morning visit to Sunbridge Wells. Details have already been circulated but if you would like to attend please let Helen Kidman know.

The Civic Voice annual get-together - the Convention - is to be held this year in Wakefield. Details of the programme are on the Civic Voice website. This is a good opportunity to meet civic society members from all over the country and meet the Civic Voice staff and trustees. You can find full details of the programme as it is published and you can book a place via the Civic Voice Website.



September 10th Heritage Open Days walk

Upper West Ilkley Moorside Villas, led by Alex Cockshott

Meet at 2pm outside Westwood Lodge

December  28th Middleton Conservation Area led by Alex Cockshott

Meet at the Old Bridge, Denton Rd

Meetings  - 7.30 pm at Church House

October 26th     Ilkley Conservation a presentation and discussion

November 23rd Pride of Place – Rooftops and Tiles  talk by Jackie Depelle

Feb 22nd Local Issues

March 22nd Design Awards Evening

April 26th  AGM and a talk on Natural Flood Management

by Charlotte Simons of the Yorkshire Dales River Trust


Last Tuesday of each month (unless inclement)

Meet at 2pm at the Beanlands Gates.















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


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.


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