Dear residents,

As you will see in the town council monthly mailing and recent press release, the council agreed at a full council meeting on Tuesday 23rd June 2020 to go ahead with a long-planned project to repaint all the street furniture in the centre of Bingley, which was first suggested in 2016.

One of the reasons why the creation of Bingley Town Council was campaigned for and eventually formed was a strong feeling among residents that Bingley was largely ignored and neglected by Bradford Metropolitan District Council, with no vision for the development of the town or investment in it.

The aim of Bingley Town Council has always been to improve the town centre to make it a vibrant, welcoming place which supports and encourages small businesses, is a hospitable destination for visitors and provides a safe place for all residents to live.

To this end, the council have worked in many areas including, but not all:

  • Working with the Canal and Rivers Trust to improve signage and access to Five Rise Locks,
  • the introduction of the monthly Saturday market,
  • the development of a Neighbourhood Plan,
  • attention to dilapidated buildings,
  • investment and support for the Friends of Bingley Pool,
  • support in the form of grants for local groups and village societies,
  • financial support for the Chamber of Trade Big Lights Switch On and Christmas Fair,
  • regular litter picks,
  • the installation of planters, hanging baskets and floral displays throughout Bingley.

The recent survey of priorities from 2019, which is only one page of a larger document, publicised on local Facebook pages, includes 18 items, of which all but one – the formation of a youth council – have been completed or are ongoing.

The repainting of all the street furniture, which includes; all the lamp posts, planters and benches in the centre of Bingley, is one item of those priorities. Bradford Metropolitan District Council have made it clear that there are no funds or intention to invest in improving Bingley town centre, yet the project has been hampered by the obstacles created by Bradford Metropolitan District Council throughout the process, which has caused the rise in costs. Bingley Town Council are obliged to use the contractor specified by Bradford Metropolitan District Council, which has its own tendering process.

Investment in the town is essential, it does not preclude investing in Bingley Pool, Myrtle Park or any other projects for which all groups are encouraged to apply for funding. To date, the Friends of Bingley Pool have made no request for funds after an initial grant to fund a feasibility study. Two Bingley Town Councillors are trustees of the Friends of Bingley Pool and the council are ready to support the Pool project through the CAT process and beyond.  Money has been ring-fenced to fund the installation of a Changing Places facility in the pool building. Similar facilities in other local sports and pool facilities have all been funded by Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

The most recent grants provided by Bingley Town Council have been to Myrtle Park Bowling Club for renovations to their toilet facilities and to the Down Syndrome Training and Support Centre for a refurbishment project, showing that a project can be large or small, but if it benefits residents it will be looked on favourably.

Bingley Town Council has a robust communications policy which is available on the website. Individual councillors who express a view on social media speak as individual councillors and do not express the views of the full council, which acts democratically and is bound by legislation on how it must operate. All Bingley Town Councillors are volunteers and are unpaid.

All formal council meetings are open to the public and have a section for public participation. The format of meetings is again regulated by law. Currently all meetings are held by Zoom and any resident is welcome to attend. Details are provided by  contacting Agenda and minutes of all meetings are available on the website.

This statement is issued in response to recent posts and questions on local Facebook community pages. Individual questions and concerns should be addressed to the town clerk, as above, rather than to individual councillors.

Yours sincerely

Helen Owen

Chair, Bingley Town Council

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