Angry councillor calls for Halifax community hub to be delivered

An angry ward councillor has called on Cabinet members to give people in Mixenden what they were promised in a new hub.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 10:24 am
Updated Friday, 23rd July 2021, 10:41 am

Coun Daniel Sutherland (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) said it was about time the hub was delivered and with promises intact.

He told the full meeting of Calderdale Council at Halifax Minster he had asked about progress on the hub and was told a July deadline would not be met and that a key component, retail shopping, the thing most wanted by the public, had been “gutted” from the scheme.

“Many people in my community think that is a betrayal.

Coun Daniel Sutherland (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden)

“We have been promised this scheme for a decade.

“I think it is time for no more excuses.

“I want Mixenden Hub to be delievered as promised and no more delays,” he said.

Coun Sutherland urged his group leader, Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town) to intervene as he had done in other projects which encountered difficulties, including the new Sixth Form Centre and even the Piece Hall.

Labour is the controlling group on Calderdale Council and Coun Sutherland raised the issue in the section of the meeting reserved for questions to the leader and other Cabinet members.

Coun Swift said he understood a planning application for the hub was going in this month and there had been some challenges over the years, including reaching agreement with

Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group about the health services.

The hub will include a new library and a GP surgery.

“I understand there are very serious concerns about whether the retail would be taken up at all or, if it was, whether it would reach a level of return to make it viable,” he said.

He was happy to look at other ways of providing a retail offer in Mixenden but to put it back in would require another change in the plans.

Coun Swift said a focus the council has had on towns over the last three or four years had left something of a gap in north Halifax but the intention was to look at putting together an equivalent partnership with the community to deliver things to all parts of north Halifax.

Earlier in the meeting, in the public question time, Nicky Kelly had also asked for assurances on when work would start, when it would be completed and if it would come in on budget.

Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said she would like to see frustration caused be delays over a decade come to an end.

It had proved a challenging project in terms of land assembly and funding, issues over the surgery and then it had to be paused because resources had to be used to tackle the pandemic.

She anticipated work could start in late autumn and building the hub would take around nine months.

* Support your Halifax Courier by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe