CIVIC SOCIETY NEWSLETTER JUNE 2021
We are proposing to hold our October and November meetings via Zoom, returning to traditional meetings at Church House in February 2022.
Local History Hub
July 31 is 60 years anniversary of the Manor House Museum and Art Gallery.
The ILHH Saturday afternoon Zoom meetings continue and attract members from all over the country. Meetings on specific streets have produced interesting information about bygone shops and shopkeepers. The next meeting is on Saturday 26th June and is on the subject of Celebrations in Ilkley.
The Planning White Paper, on which we commented, is receiving a high profile in the press and we hope that significant amendments will be made to it. The planning changes as proposed were cited as a key factor in the outcome of the recent Amersham and Chesham by-election. We will be keeping a close eye on developments.
The Local Plan
Nothing to report at present.
The draft Neighbourhood Plan has now been passed by Ilkley Town Council to Bradford Council for Reg 16 consultation. We are waiting to hear from the council when the consultation and subsequent referendum are likely to take place.
The high number of planning applications continues – many Ilkley people are using their enforced extra time at home to start work on extensions and improvements. A number of cases have been referred to enforcement resulting in retrospective planning applications. We are also concerned about tree felling in the conservation areas – please contact David Blackburn if you find a problem. A recent plan is for the demolition and redevelopment of the former Hollycroft Nursing Home on Hebers Ghyll Drive – please let us know if you have views on this proposal. Planning Ref 21/02958/MAF.
Friends of Ilkley Cemetery
A small group has continued to meet through the various stages of lockdown for an hour or so normally on Tuesday afternoons to clear brambles, nettles and self-sown saplings to reveal overgrown graves, the names of those buried there and sometimes the original plants put there by the family. We have scattered a wildflower seed mix on some of the graves in sunnier spots this spring and will review how successful this has been later in the summer. We have also gathered rubbish from around the Cemetery, identified potential issues that might need to be reported to Bereavement Services, and dealt with a number of enquiries from the public.
Bradford Council has given the group some litter pickers, gloves and sacks – and the Civic Society recently purchased some hi vis waistcoats which have been worn in the Cemetery. There is no shortage of things to do – it is a bit like the painting of the Forth Bridge - the brambles grow back as fast as we can clear them!
The Bus Back Better: National Bus Strategy for England was published in March and comes with £3bn and a wide range of promises including cheaper buses, easier to use, more evening and weekend services, and better ticketing.
This new strategy will place significant challenges on operators and Local Transport Authorities to work together and Baroness Vere, the Transport Minister, is reported to be determined that there will be no recalcitrant authorities and will be real change.
The headline dates include:
- by the end of June 2021, all Local Transport Authorities are expected to commit to establishing Enhanced Partnerships across their entire areas under the Bus Services Act, and all operators to co-operate with the LTA throughout the process.
- by the end of October 2021, all Local Transport Authorities are to publish a local Bus Service Improvement Plan, detailing how they propose to use their powers to improve services.
- Actual delivery of Enhanced Partnerships is expected by April 2022.
- From that date, the new discretionary forms of bus funding from Government will only be available to services operated, or measures taken, under an Enhanced Partnership or where a franchising scheme has been made.
In Mayoral Combined Authorities, which now includes West Yorkshire, they may be starting the statutory process of franchising bus services. West Yorkshire Combined Authority expects the process of moving to franchising of bus services will take two years.
In North Yorkshire they are proposing to go down the Enhanced Partnership route. The new strategy will mean NYCC will have to change its own longstanding strategy not to support and fund evening and Sunday bus services
Railway Road Junction
Work has started to improve the junction for all users – pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle drivers. We will review how it’s working later this year.
Rail timetable: Wharfedale line. The mid May change (part of the national change and expected as usual to hold until mid-Dec 2021) shows a virtual pre-covid timetable with early and late evening trains to & from Leeds and Bradford on weekdays. On Sundays an hourly service is being provided to & from both cities.
A publicised problem with the suspension of the new (331) sets has had a temporary fix, pending a long-term modification. All these sets are considered fit to be in service to keep the full timetable operating.
Heritage Walks 2021
Join us on Sunday Aug 8th for a stroll in Ilkley Cemetery. Meet at 2pm at Beanlands Parade cemetery entrance.
Civic Voice Events
Civic Voice has a variety of workshops and events on Zoom available throughout England – see the Civic Voice website for details www.civicvoice.org.uk
Trees in Ilkley
Whilst there is much positive work proceeding in the town regarding trees in two areas, firstly the excellent ‘Ilkley Tree Trails’ produced by U3A members and available at ‘ilkleytrees.org.uk’ now covering three different parts of the town. Secondly the planting of new community orchards by climate Action Ilkley on East Homes Field and Ben Rhydding sports field. Both promotion of interest in trees and new planting aid tackling climate change. In our work responding to planning applications, we are however seeing the loss of mature trees that grab the most carbon.
Ilkley is fortunate that during its Victorian expansion many trees were planted and some of those are getting old and may need for safety reasons to be pruned or removed. Many trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO’s), including all those in our 3 Conservation Areas, but surprisingly many outside those areas are not protected by Bradford Council TPO’s.
We also see that Bradford Council is struggling to respond to all applications for removal of trees resulting in the loss of trees unnecessarily and also to ensure new trees, that are part of planning consents, are not just planted but maintained in the first few years. It is also removing Street/public trees and not replacing them in sufficient numbers, our central car park being an example of this.
Ilkley needs volunteers to help Bradford Council update its TPO designations, monitor the planning system for tree applications and also research areas for new/replacement street and public trees working with other organisations in the town.
ICS Executive Committee
Chair Helen Kidman Vice Chair Alex Cockshott (Local History Hub)
Hon Treasurer Brian Mann Hon Secretary Kate Brown
Committee: David Blackburn and Anthony Barnett (planning), Graham Peacock
(transport issues), Jan Stallworthy (cemetery), Denise Shillitoe ( local history hub).