Talking Politics: Cash cannot be ring-fenced

Calderdale Central Library.
Calderdale Central Library.

So now the cat is out of the bag - Councillor Tim Swift, the leader of the council, has said that the sale of the Northgate House Library and Archives are to be demolished and will pay for the restoration of the Piece Hall.

This can not be right as public buildings are owned by all of Calderdale’s population, not just them in Halifax. Money from the sale of council-owned buildings should not be ring-fenced for this project.

The money should be used to protect the services for the people all over Calderdale including those bus passes for children travelling to school.

The money should also be spent on protecting the nursery places at our Sure Start centres for everyone across Calderdale that needs them.

I have been told several times that money from the sale of buildings can not be ring-fenced. If this was the case, when I asked for money from the sale of Brighouse Town Hall to build new toilets in the bus station, we would have them.

I think before the money from the sales are committed to the Piece Hall, it should go before full council. We were told that the money for the Piece Hall was going to be raised with prudential borrowing not the sale of our crown jewel building.