Future of Brighouse buildings in doubt after proposals are revealed

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The future of council run Brighouse buildings remains unclear as possible plans to put them up for sale emerged.

The Conservative, Lib Dem and Independent led council said that since removing Labour from control of Calderdale Council a few short weeks ago, they became aware of a major review and disposal of council owned property undertaken by the previous Labour administration.

These buildings included such things as libraries, community centres, toilets and bowling clubs.

Deputy leader of the Council, Coun Scott Benton, said: “We were genuinely shocked to see the sheer scale of the asset disposal programme that the previous Labour administration were looking at.

“Many of the buildings that were apparently being considered for disposal are greatly valued by our local communities and we would never consider disposing of any buildings without the consent of local people.”

The Conservative group said it would result in a drastic reduction in the number of buildings available for public use and for the provision of council services.

Leader of the Council, Coun Stephen Baines, said the proposals in their current form “are far too radical” and would work alongside communities to develop proposals and for the buildings to be used as efficiently as possible.

Calderdale Labour group leader Coun Tim Swift questioned the timing of the release after the party was defeated on a number of issues at full council.

Speaking about the plans, Coun Swift said: “This was an officer’s report and it didn’t get made public because there was no way Labour was going to support it in that form.

“All groups accept that the council needs to reduce the number of buildings it manages so we spend on services, not on buildings.

“I think people would rather see money spent on other services rather than the upkeep of buildings that are not in a good condition.”