ABOUT THE COUNCIL
In this part of the website we'll describe the purpose and aims of the Town Council. We know that some of the words we use are occasionally confusing, and we hate to use council-speak or jargon, but sometimes we can't avoid it. To make things easier, we've added a glossary, so if you see a word in green, click on it to find out what it means.
We've broken our explanation down into some key areas. Click below to find out more.
INTRODUCING BAILDON TOWN COUNCIL
Baildon Town Council (formerly Parish Council) was set up in 2007, following a petition to Bradford District Council by local residents requesting the establishment of such a council. Baildon Town Council is made up of twelve councillors. The area which the Town Council serves covers all of the geographic area which people generally understand to be 'Baildon', stretching from the River Aire at Roberts Park, along Otley Road through Charlestown and Tong Park, with all areas in between, and up through the village centre to Baildon Moor (view a map of the boundaries here). Because the area and the population served are both large, the area is divided into six wards, with two councillors to represent each ward.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PARISH COUNCIL AND A TOWN COUNCIL?
To quote from the National Association of Local Councils: "They both have the same powers and can provide the same services. The only difference is that a town council has decided that it should be known as a town council instead of a parish council."
The key benefits of the change of name to Baildon Town Council are felt to be:
The term 'town' is more inclusive of all neighbourhoods in Baildon. Baildon Town Council seeks to serve needs and address issues in all parts of Baildon.
Baildon, with a population of around 16,000, is larger than what most people (including many organisations with which we work in partnership) consider a village, and, indeed is larger in population than the cathedral city of Ripon.
Baildon, historically, was described as a township and until local government reorganisation in 1972 had its own Urban District Council, town hall, and civic regalia.
Baildon has a strong identity, and a retail and service industry economy which deserves promotion and support. Baildon Town Council seeks to support the positive promotion of the businesses in Baildon.
The change of name has no significant cost implications; nor will it change the statutory basis and rules by which the Council works. The Council recognises that there are a variety of views on this issue amongst Baildon residents. Individuals and local organisations can still choose for themselves as to whether they wish to use the term 'town', 'parish' or 'village'.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES OF YOUR TOWN COUNCIL?
Baildon Town Council has an overall responsibility to contribute to the well-being of our community. The work falls into three main categories:
Representing the needs and interests of Baildon
Delivering services to meet local needs
Striving to improve the quality of life in Baildon
The main document which underlies the work of Baildon Town Council is the Baildon Plan, which was produced in 2011 following extensive consultation with residents about what they saw as the priorities for future improvements in Baildon.
Baildon Town Council is one of more than 8,700 parish and town councils representing around 16 million people across England. These councils form the most local, grass-roots, level of government and cover many rural and urban areas.
Elections for Parish/Town Councils are held every four years. If a councillor retires or resigns, mid-term, then the law governing the operation of Parish/Town Councils (the Local Government Act of 1972) sets out the conditions under which an election for any mid-term vacancy may be held, or, alternatively sets out when the Council may complete its full number through co-option.
HOW DOES BAILDON TOWN COUNCIL MAKE DECISIONS?
Your town councillors meet as a full council on the second Monday of each month to make decisions on the work and direction of the council. These meetings are open to the public to attend as observers (except in very rare occasions when confidential matters are being discussed). Up to fifteen minutes is allocated near the start of each meeting for any members of the public in attendance to speak briefly in order to raise any questions or bring information and ideas to the attention of the council. Baildon Town Council also has several committees on which councillors serve. You can read more about these committees here.
Bank Holiday Bikers by Sadie Ferriday
The Moor by Ros Crosland
WHAT DO TOWN COUNCILLORS DO?
In addition to attending and taking part in decision-making meetings of the full council and its committees, councillors are also involved in meeting with local organisations and individual constituents, sometimes taking up issues on their behalf when this is appropriate either within the Town Council, or acting as an advocate with other local authorities and agencies. Councillors also sometimes represent Baildon at meetings with partner organisations.
Your town councillors are also active volunteers within their community in a variety of ways, and care passionately about contributing to the continued improvement of Baildon for the benefit of all its residents.
Town councillors are not paid and receive no expenses.