After a busy end to 2018, the petition for a Shipley Town Council is now nearing its target. Over 800 people have signed the petition, taking the campaign close to the level needed to trigger action by Bradford Council. The Christmas light switch-on events in Shipley and Saltaire were real highlights, attracting lots of enthusiastic support and showing the best of Shipley’s strong and positive community.
Over the next few weeks, campaigners will be out and about around Shipley speaking to local people about the campaign and canvassing support across the ward. This will continue to be supported by regular updates on social media and via email which have both proved very effective ways to communicate. The popular self-print petition leaflets will also continue to be available on the group’s website (www.cstc.uk/petition), allowing local people and businesses to collect signatures on the group’s behalf.
Hard work is also going on behind the scenes to validate signatures against the electoral register and other public data to ensure that the campaign reaches all of Shipley’s communities. Shipley residents come from a wide variety of backgrounds, incomes and circumstances. We think that a Town Council is vital to give everyone a voice, especially to those who might feel that national or local government don’t listen.
A strong local voice will become even more critical as Bradford District council loses the last of its central government funding and makes tough decisions about where to cut services. Shipley’s market traders and independent shop owners have told the campaign that they have lost up to half of their turnover since the public toilets shut. By contrast, areas with Town Councils such as Baildon and Bingley have been able to re-open their toilets and work to enhance their town centres.
The Campaign Chair, Rob Martin, said “It has been amazing to see the enthusiasm for a Town Council. The campaign has picked up real momentum over the last few months and we are now close to giving Shipley the voice it so badly needs.”