20 community groups bid for a slice of family silver

Takeover? Hebden Bridge Picture House
Takeover? Hebden Bridge Picture House

TWENTY organisations have so far shown an interest in taking over council-owned buildings, sports fields and other assets.

Transfers have been agreed for Hebden Bridge Town Hall, a sports ground at Ovenden and space for a new youth centre next to Halifax Piece Hall.

Also in the pipeline is a possible takeover of Hebden Bridge Picture House, Todmorden Market, the Wainwright Hall, in Elland and Luddenden Foot Civic Centre.

“We have been at the forefront in developing an approach to community asset transfers,” according to Calderdale Council’s community services director Robin Tuddenham.

He has recommended the cabinet approves a new framework for community management to ensure consistency.

The council could also set up a public register of assets and estimate their community value.

If the framework is approved, unsuitable applications will be weeded-out early on and organisations with workable schemes will be given some support to make them happen.

“A robust framework will provide opportunities for the council in its wider role of support and empowering communities,” said Mr Tuddenham, in a report to the cabinet, which meets on Monday.

Asset transfer bids include: sports fields at Queen’s Road, Halifax, Roils Head, Halifax, and Stubb, Mytholmroyd; community centres at Illingworth, Siddal, Southowram and Field Lane, Rastrick; amenity land and allotments in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, and public toilets in Hebden Bridge.

Luddenden Foot Community Association and Luddenden Foot Community Youth and Sports Centre have been given an extra three months to strengthen their bids for Luddenden Foot Civic Centre.

The council estimates that £330,000 would have to be spent on the building over the next ten years and the initial financial plans drawn up by the two groups don’t show how that money might be raised.