A competition for you--find a local, borough or parish council that is more incompetent than Ilkley's. Not corrupt, not venal, just totally lacking in intelligence.
Consider the evidence:
1) There's the massive underspend. Taking a precept is one thing, when it's needed. But when we're looking at taking £100,000+ into next financial year, there's been a serious lack of financial planning. The precept is patently NOT needed for administration of the local parish--which was what we were told originally. And now they run around like the proverbial blue-arsed councillors they are, finding things to spend it on. Like new toilets. Only new toilets are going to be paid for by Bradford. So, where is the money going to go? Perhaps it could save some of our proper heritage like the Panorama Stones.
2) The redevelopment of The Grove. No consultation, just trees and stones ripped up. The level of the pavement altered to make it inacessible to the disabled. New stones that turn the pavement to sheet ice. The theft of all our bins.
3) Those bloody lamp-posts. Nobody asked for them, but there they appeared, dwarfing some of our best buildings, placed in entirely the wrong position (sometimes just moving them a metre left or right will restore the proper vista). And then they completely fail to take away the old ones, so we double the amount of street furniture we have. And then the councillors responsible have the nerve to complain about shop having signs outside their premises.
4) And the need to buy new christmas decorations because the old ones don't fit the new lamp-posts or the new, smaller trees. Did nobody check?
5) Victoria Avenue. Wheatley Lane. Where are the filter lanes? Where have they taken them? Is it all a plot to make the place grind to a halt? One car turning right can now make the traffic back up to Addingham.
6) The Bund. So you don't like the romany? Well, that's good and racist of you. But dealing with the 'problem' by planting a huge mud-bank where they camp is nowt short of ludicrous. We now have a perfect place to re-enact the first day of The Somme. And, frankly, it looks terrible.
The Parish council keep claiming their opponents are 'acting politically'. Well, there's an easy way round that. Given the in-built Conservative majority in the town, whoever is picked to represent the party will inevitably be elected. Which means the choice of parish councillors is actually made by a handful of members of the local Tory Party, rather than the electros of the parish. So, let's bring some democracy back to the town. At the next election, everyone stands as an independent, or in their own name. Sure, we'll still get Hawksworth. We'll probably still get Ilkley's own absent landlord, funky Gibbons. But some of the lesser lights will go. And surely that can only improve the average IQ rating?