In 2009 Saltaire Village Society submitted a lengthy contribution to Bradford’s “Local Development Framework” which we hoped would be considered by Shipley area committee and BMDC. It took a great deal of work but we had no response. We began to consider forming a community/town council with more statutory influence.
Some names were collected but the campaign did not get off the ground. Our area was thought to be too small, and public feeling in Saltaire/Shipley seemed to be that community councils were not a good thing. Recent difficulties in Keighley were cited as an example.
Nothing much happened until early 2015 when at Saltaire Steering Group meetings I started to mention the idea of a Shipley Town Council. Shipley councillors from BMDC were present and again the main response was that it had been suggested before and “people” did not want a town council.
By 2017 that view was changing, maybe due to cuts in local services and closure of public toilets. Neighbouring areas had been able to mitigate these cuts through their local parish/town councils.
I was sure that a Shipley Town Council would be able to help, and it seemed that now I was not a lone voice. No one else was going to start a campaign, so I gathered a few like- minded people together.
Now in 2018 a Campaign for a Shipley Town Council is up and running. My reasons for wanting a town council remain the same:
- for individuals and community groups in Shipley to have a local forum with statutory powers and some resources
- to encourage discussion of ideas which will benefit the community
- to consider solutions to problems faced by residents
- to target financial resources on worthwhile initiatives
- to have a formal process requiring the views of Shipley residents to be heard by the “parent council” BMDC.
Representative Democracy such as we have in Britain works best when people are allowed and encouraged to participate. Town /Parish Councils provide the opportunity for people to engage with each other on a neighbourhood level and in so doing help to make a more vibrant and pleasant place in which to live and work.