Talking Politics: Council cannot afford the Shay

The Shay Stadium
The Shay Stadium

The Cabinet has at last started to look at some of the nonessential things that Calderdale Council are involved in, and are looking at ways of recouping funds that will be needed to ensure we can continue to provide front line services.

One of the things that they are looking at is selling The Shay Stadium. I have advocated this for many years as the cost to all the rate payers of Calderdale and not just those in Halifax has got completely out of hand.

Now before the spineless nameless contributors to various websites - including the Courier’s - which seems to allow people to use whatever title they wish to comment on things they know very little about and have not got the courage to say to people’s faces in a proper and constructive way, pitch in, here are a few points.

The Shay over the last few years has cost Calderdale over £5 million in its refurbishment programme. This is after the council took it back from The Shay Stadium Trust, which was supposed to run it in a proper way for the people of Calderdale. The council had to rescue it at that time to secure the asset of the stadium. Now there has been an interest in people buying The Shay I think all councillors from all areas of Calderdale need to be involved in this process.

We cannot allow this asset to be sold for a peppercorn sum. We must recoup the costs the council has incurred so we can reinvest this revenue in other essential services. As part of the £5 million spent, £3.5 million was prudentially borrowed, over a 25 year period. Of this £3.1 million is still outstanding.

We need to ensure that if we are selling The Shay Stadium as owners it will not affect the users like the football and rugby clubs. Once the council commits to selling The Shay, it should go national and ensure that stadium companies that may be interested pay the market value for this venue, which could be used for so many other things that these companies are involved with.

We know it is costing over £200,000 per year in running costs, money the council can no longer afford. We need to identify savings totalling £90 million by the end of 2015; this will be a reduction of over 40 perc cent since 2010.