THE GREEN Party has not entered a candidate in next month's General Election for the Keighley and Ilkley constituency.

The decision was made after the selected candidate, Ilkley deputy mayor Councillor Ros Brown, decided not to stand because her campaign could delay preparations for the town's Neighbourhood Plan.

She said: “When I stand for election at any level of government I commit myself, if elected, to following through on my commitments to electors.

"In May 2019 I was voted on to Ilkley Town Council and volunteered to take responsibility for leading the Ilkley Neighbourhood Development Plan project.

"This project had reached a critical stage when the General Election was announced with a statutory six-week consultation and public engagement period beginning on November 7.

"Due to the time of heightened sensitivity leading up to the General Election, if I had stood as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate I could not also lead the consultation during this time, thus stalling the process until 2020.

"The Neighbourhood Plan represents years of work by town councillors from across the political spectrum and experienced volunteers. It is concerned with land use and development and is vital for allowing the people who live, work and do business in Ilkley to shape the future of the town.

"It is also important for meeting the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss in a tangible way in our South Pennines environment which extends far beyond ."

"I do not want to delay this Plan’s progress which is why I have taken the very difficult decision not to stand in the general election on December 12."

At a recent business meeting, members of the Green Party in Keighley and Ilkley decided not to stand an alternative candidate for the election.