Centre praised by Cameron hit as government turns off cash

David and Samantha Cameron visit the Mixenden Parents Resource Centre. David Cameron with Liz Childs the centre manager, Philip Allott and Sheila Carrothers.
David and Samantha Cameron visit the Mixenden Parents Resource Centre. David Cameron with Liz Childs the centre manager, Philip Allott and Sheila Carrothers.

A FAMILY centre David Cameron said was “the sort of thing we need in every community” – before he became Prime Minister – is struggling to make ends meet.

The blow - to Mixenden Parents Resource Centre - has been made worse by the Government’s refusal to include the area it serves in a new funding programme.

Over the next four years Elland can expect to receive £33,910; Ovenden (£84,775), Park ward, Halifax (£33,910), Sowerby Bridge (£33,910), Town ward (£33,910) and Warley (£33,910).

But Mixenden and Illingworth have been excluded from Community First Funding Programme, despite Mr Cameron visiting the area in the run-up to last year’s General Election.

During his trip, he described Mixenden Parents Resource Centre, as a shining example of how, by enabling communities to help themselves, a stronger society can formed.

“This is the sort of thing we need in every community,” he told the Courier.

But a shortage of grants means the centre, set up more than 30 years ago, is struggling keep afloat.

It was thrown a temporary lifeline this week when Pennine Housing 2000 agreed to waive a £10,400 bill for back rent and to charge only £1 a year in future.

But Halifax Labour MP Linda Riordan said that while that was welcome, more support was needed from the Government for the wider area of Mixenden and Illingworth.

“This is an area which has considerable pockets of social and economic deprivation and low levels of social capital.

“It is higher in the indexes of deprivation than some of the other parts of Calderdale that were included in the programme.” Mrs Riordan said she could only assume there has been an omission and she has asked for an urgent meeting with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

The Mixenden Centre is a charity thatprovides parenting skills, gives advice on welfare and benefits, and runs support groups. Most of it’s funding is from the council.

Pennine Housing’s deputy chief executive Amanda Garrard said the centre was highly valued because of the way it helped tenants and residents.

It is to have a seat on the centre’s management committee.