Our role

Welcome to the Otley Town Council website.  Otley Town Council is the ‘parish authority’ for the town of Otley.  We were formed in the 1970s after local government restructuring in England when Urban and District Councils were disbanded and most functions went to Leeds City Council.  We work closely with Leeds City Council on many matters of importance to the town and always refer residents directly to them on matters for which they are responsible.

Otley Town Council has an overall responsibility for the wellbeing of our local community and the town we all live in.  While our statutory responsibilities are modest, the Town Council plays an important role in promoting the best interests of the town, working in partnership with the many local organisations that share our love for the town and providing an important point of contact and network for our community.

Our activities cover three main priorities:

  • We deliver services to meet local needs
  • We represent our community
  • We work hard to improve the quality of life for everyone living, working and visiting Otley

Otley Town Council is made up of 20 Town Councillors who meet regularly in Full Council and a number of Committees to manage the work of the Council.  Town Councillors are volunteers, elected every four years.  Town Councillors determine the priorities of the Council and work closely with the Council’s officers to ensure projects and activities are delivered well with good value for money.  The Chair of the Town Council is its political leader and the Town Mayor is our civic leader.  The Town Council is responsible to the people it represents – the community and citizens of Otley.

Our areas of focus

Currently, the Town Council has four areas of focus:

  • Promoting local trade and tourism
  • Improving our environment and living spaces
  • Leading healthy lives and promoting well-being
  • Ensuring good council governance and administration

What we do

These areas of focus guide the priorities we have as a Town Council and we have a range of projects in these areas as well as statutory responsibilities that we maintain.  These include:

  • Developing and delivering a Tourism Strategy to increase visitor numbers to Otley
  • Maintaining ten allotment sites that we own, with over 250 plots
  • Maintaining and enhancing the Gallows Hill Nature Area that we own, providing access to nature for everyone including the mobility impaired
  • Provide community grants for a wide range of local organisations, through our Consolidated Community Fund
  • Encourage long-term investment in community infrastructure through our Investing in Otley Fund
  • Keep our town centre and neighbourhoods attractive and free from litter through regular Otley Big Clean litter picks, supporting Otley in Bloom and providing extra street sweeping with our Otley Town Caretaker
  • Support our community in the completion of the Otley Neighbourhood Plan
  • Sponsor a range of cultural, sporting and entertainment events for visitors and residents to enjoy
  • Provide and maintain our award-winning town centre Toilets
  • Provide the town centre Christmas Lights and ‘switch-on’ event
  • Promote and support community-based renewable energy project development
  • Maintain town centre assets such as the Buttercross and Jubilee Clock and provide the Buttercross and the Town Council’s offices for community meetings and fundraising events
  • Work in partnership to support local business and economic activity, with Otley BID, Otley Chamber and Otley Town Partnership
  • Make recommendations to Leeds City Council (the local planning authority) on all planning applications, in our role as a statutory consultee
  • Provide local information for visitors and residents
  • Promote safer cycling and walking in Otley, to reduce short journey car use

Find out more – get in touch

Every year, the Town Council publishes an Annual Report that details our activity for the past year.  We present this at the Annual Parish Meeting at which Otley citizens are entitled to ask questions and raise matters of interest.

We produce a regular bulletin, Otley Matters, delivered to all homes and businesses in Otley.  Our offices in Orchard Gate also have public noticeboards detailing Council and community events.

All meetings of the Town Council are open to the public excluding Audit and Human Resources.  You are warmly invited to come and see us and get a better idea of what we do.  If you have a matter of interest or concern to share, you can arrange to address Town Councillors at meetings or contact us directly by phone or e-mail.  We are always pleased to hear from local residents with ideas, concerns or feedback on our work.

Cllr Ray Georgeson MBE
Chair of Otley Town Council