Community Elections Otley Otley town council

Otley Town Council elections

Candidates names as on a ballot paper marked with an X. Richard Davies, Danefield. Alex Eve, Ashfield. Nigel Gill, Manor. Graham Hill, West Chevin. Linda Richardson, Prince Henry.

Find out about your Labour candidates in for the Otley Town Council elections.

Labour wants to make Otley a better place to live by supporting its economy, helping to create jobs, and making sure there are homes that people can afford. We also want to make sure everyone feels included in the community, and we’ll work to build on what makes Otley special.

Find out more at A Labour manifesto for Otley Town Council 2023

Otley town council Richard Davies

Richard Davies – Labour Candidate for Otley Town Council Danefield Ward

The candidates for the Town Council election on Thursday, 4th May have now been confirmed. I am proud to be standing again as Labour candidate for my home ward and I am committed to working hard again to try and get things done, both in the ward and around Otley in general.

I thought I would share a summary of some of the many things I have done in just two years as a councillor. My commitment is to carry on working hard for all Danefield residents whatever their politics and I will post my priorities shortly in another post.

There are a lot of candidates standing in the ward, so please vote for someone who will work hard after the election for the good of the town!

Richard Davies on the Irish fields, Otley
Richard Davies, Otley town councillor for Danefield ward

For the past two years, I’ve been an active and committed town councillor working together with residents, other councillors and officers, community groups and businesses to tackle things that needed doing, in line with my stated priorities.

This hasn’t always been easy and I’ve met many roadblocks, but by working with others, we’ve been able to progress a number of initiatives and resolve problems. Here are a few of these developments:

East of Otley

I played a significant role in discussions with Leeds city council (LCC) planners, the town council and community groups like Otley 2030 to ensure a robust response to the ill thought-out development proposals. My own response ran to 10 pages. The development is now paused while planners try to revise proposals into something that could meet the community’s needs, but I’ll be ready to re- engage when these emerge. I was also active in discussing the formal recognition of footpaths around the Cambridge estate with LCC rights of way staff, which was largely successful.

Anti-social behaviour

Recent examples of drug- dealing and linked anti-social behaviour in the ward have caused a fair bit of upset to nearby residents. I liaised with local police, LCC housing and anti-social behaviour teams, and other councillors, to bring together agencies to tackle this, and the issue of problem tenants being housed near vulnerable people. This action got a more robust response from the authorities and the problems appear to have been resolved.


Various streets in the ward – such as Albion St, South View Terrace and Orchard Street – have poor road surfaces and resurfacing is planned in the next two years. In the meantime I’ve persuaded LCC Highways to patch some of these and fill in potholes.

Street cleansing

Workers in orange hi-viz overalls operating vehicle-mounted drain clearing equipment, lowering a hose into the opened road drain

A number of areas in Danefield ward haven’t been cleaned for many years, due to on- street parking. I liaised with LCC staff to organise a day of action to sweep streets and pavements and jetwash blocked gullies.

Road safety

I’ve lobbied colleagues to introduce speed indicator devices at hotspots in and around Danefield ward. There is a possibility that one or two may be installed over the next two years on larger roads, following traffic surveys, along with proposals for 20mph zones across much of the town.

Community facilities

Otley has fewer community facilities compared to some towns, reducing our ability to develop the local economy. Over two years, I’ve worked with the town council and community groups to help deliver the 3G artificial sports pitch at Prince Henry’s school (construction start January 2023). I’ve also helped organise the Otley Live music festival, and explored whether the Methodist church could be acquired for community use. The town council plans to gather evidence of facilities needed across the town.

Contact Richard Davies

Please contact me at if you have any questions.

East of Otley Otley and Yeadon Branch News Otley town council Richard Davies

Labour Party objection to the East of Otley Planning Application – full text (10 pages)

Here you can download the full text of Otley and Yeadon Labour Party’s detailed 10-page objection to the East of Otley Hybrid Planning Application 21/01671/OT.

Download the full objection to the planning application

East of Otley Otley and Yeadon Branch News Otley town council Richard Davies

Labour Party Objects to the East of Otley Planning Application

John Richardson Chair of the branch says “The plans as they stand fail to give enough detail about the way it will be developed. They don’t say when the school will be built, they don’t give enough detail about how damage to the environment will be minimised and they don’t give enough detail about the quality, design and energy efficiency of the houses. If built I want this to be an exemplar development that demonstrates the very best in house building.”

The Labour Party’s detailed submission identifies many examples of where the plans fail to comply with planning guidance, including the requirements set out in the Otley Neighbourhood Plan which was agreed in a referendum by a huge majority in 2020.

Our submission raises concerns about the lack of detail available about the provision of affordable housing. It states that the Otley and Yeadon Labour Party is firmly committed to the provision of genuinely affordable housing: a significant proportion of which should be offered for rent and shared ownership. It points out that many children who grow up in Otley cannot afford to rent or buy here.

Our objection asks for much more transparency about the profits that the developers expect to make. It highlights the risk that, in order to make excessive profits, the developers are not being explicit about the amount of affordable housing that will be built.

It also challenges the plan to increase from 550 to over 700 the numbers of houses built. It points out that no justification has been provided for this. Increased numbers will put even more pressure on schools and health services and further damage local wildlife habitats.

Along with many other organisations in Otley, the Labour Party has serious reservations about the traffic analysis that has been carried. It has insufficient detail and minimises the impact of many more cars on the road. Our response point out that Otley centre is at least a 15 minute’s walk away and proposes that the development of community facilities such as a local shop/café in a “village hub”could reduce traffic and promote community cohesion.

Our objection also echoes the detailed criticisms of the plans to reduce damage to existing wildlife habitats and create new ones made by Wildlife Friendly Otley and others.

Labour Town Councillor Richard Davies says “The application as it stands is totally inadequate as the basis for the biggest development in Otley for a generation. It fails to comply with the Otley Neighbourhood Plan and will seriously damage our local environment. Local people have a right to expect better and the level and quality of their responses highlights the need for their concerns to be heard.”

Download the full 10 page objection here

East of Otley Otley and Yeadon Branch News Otley town council Richard Davies

Road safety in Danefield – major rethink needed for Otley’s roads

Richard Davies says changes are needed

As Labour’s candidate for Otley Town Council’s Danefield Ward, I believe that a major rethink is needed for some of the town’s roads in and around the ward.

Traffic levels and parking problems have continued to rise in Otley, but not enough is being done to ensure the safety of local people.

In recent years, our councillors have pushed for some well-intentioned changes, such as the one-way system on Walkergate and 20mph limits on residential streets, but these have been poorly thought through or enforced. 

Three particular issues stand out.

  • Firstly, speeds on main roads like Bondgate and Leeds Road are too high and cars regularly pull out of busy junctions into oncoming traffic.
  • Secondly, the 20 mph restrictions on streets like Cambridge Street are widely ignored.
  • Thirdly, crossing the junction of Charles Street with Bondgate has become a game of Russian Roulette for pedestrians and drivers. I am worried that there is going to be a serious accident if something doesn’t change.

I would like Otley Town Council to work with Leeds City Council and local residents to get changes made. There are some sensible things that could be done quickly.

I would like to see electronic speed indicator signs, like the one on Bradford Road, installed on roads like Bondgate, Leeds Road, and Cambridge Street to help drivers keep within speed limits. The Police also need to enforce these limits. I would like the City Council to address the on-going consequences of the one-way system, for example by removing the top parking space on Charles Street to provide space for cars turning in from Gay Lane.

‘Improved cycling and walking provision’ was a key policy in the Otley Neighbourhood Plan, but the Town Council seems to have lost interest in this. It’s time for the Town Council to show leadership and turn this policy into an action plan.  As a former member of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, I would like to help make this happen.