Anger at U-turn on Mirfield community centre cash

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A council has been criticised for potentially going back on a promise to give a group around £350,000 towards a new community centre.

A proposal by Kirklees Council would see the closure and sale of Mirfield Community Centre in Water Royd Lane, with all the cash - estimated at least £350,000 - being kept by the council.

In 2002 the authority said it would hand over money from the sale of the community centre to Mirfield Community Trust for a new community centre at Gilder Hall.

But now a council report is proposing to rescind the previous decision.

It has angered Mirfield councillor Martyn Bolt who claimed that some groups were not consulted.

Some of the 26 groups which use the community centre are fighting the proposals.

The council says that these groups could move to other community venues.

A report to Cabinet, which meets on Tuesday March 24, says the community centre is in a dilapidated state.

Roof repairs are estimated to be £50,000 and the boiler/pipework/radiator work would cost around £173,000.

The council said that over £258,000 will be needed in the next few years to address various problems with the floors, ceilings, windows and roofs.

Discussions with the management committee faltered when they rejected a proposal to end the council’s financial support towards the centre.

Meanwhile, Mirfield Community Trust consider that they are still entitled to the money from the sale.

A council spokesman accepted that there had not been an appropriate level of consultation with ward councillors.

Council officers have recommended the report is withdrawn from the agenda to allow officers to engage members on a more formal basis, he added.