Talks with West Yorkshire Police to take charge of Calderdale youth centre controversially closed after budget cuts

Discussions are still under way into the possibility of West Yorkshire Police taking on the lease of a Calderdale activity centre controversially closed after budget cuts.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 11:45 am
Mixenden Activity Centre
Mixenden Activity Centre

Mixenden Activity Centre in north Halifax was closed after 23 years after Calderdale Council budget decisions.

But it has seen some use since, housing a temporary library and some weeks of activities for some children in the summer.

A member of the public asking a question at September’s full meeting of the council referred to two separate weeks of activity there but for children aged eight to 11 only.

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“Does the council think this was an acceptable level of activity provision for all of the children from one of the most deprived areas of Halifax?” she said.

Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities, Coun Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) said active discussions over West Yorkshire Police taking over the lease were being held with the hope it would be used by them, early intervention partnerships and local groups.

In the meantime the temporary library – a permanent one is planned for the proposed Mixenden Hub – and some summer activities had utilised the centre, the latter part of the Holiday Activity and Food Programme.

The programme was Department of Education funded and run by the council and p;partners, with DoE guidelines limiting who qualified to take part in it.

Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Adam Wilkinson (Lab, Sowerby Bridge) said the question suggested Mixenden Activity Centre was the only place in Halifax where activities could be held but that was not the case.

But in general the council’s policy on “open age” youth activities had changed following a cross-party review two years ago that said these activities should not be funded directly – rather local youth organisations were better placed to do that.

The council had made funding awards to some community organisations and half of the entire funding had gone to north Halifax, said Coun Wilkinson.

“We recognise in the council it is an area of deprivation, where there is a real need for youth activities.

“I do hope there is a bright future for Mixenden Activity Centre but I wanted to make it clear it is not the only place in north Halifax where young people can access activities,” he said.

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