Cabinet is working on new road ideas

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In the aftermath of last week’s Calderdale Council shake-up, the new Cabinet has revealed it has already started working on new ideas for the redevelopment of Hipperholme crossroads.

After the Labour group was ousted following a vote of no confidence, the council is now led by a minority Conservative administration.

New council leader Stephen Baines said: “It is my hope that we will be able to retain the funding and work up a scheme in Hipperholme that is acceptable to local residents.

“No one would deny that there is a major issue at Hipperholme, but when you get a petition that is signed by pretty much everyone in the village concerned, you can’t ignore it.

“Officers are working on it now, and I’m hoping that they’ll be able to find alternative ways to improve the junction.

“It is going be difficult to do - if we had mega bucks, we could simply build a flyover or tunnel underneath, but something like that would simply be too expensive.

“If is about getting the most improvement with the monies we have available.

“We need to look at other pinch points such as at Stump Cross if this scheme is to be truly effective - so any underspend in Hipperholme could be used to make improvements there.

“Coming up with a scheme that is acceptable to the people of Hipperholme is the outcome we are looking for.”

Brighouse councillor Scott Benton, who has been appointed the council’s deputy leader, criticised the previous Labour administration and said the new Conservative leadership would work to better serve the local community.

He said: “It recently became clear that the Labour group had no intention of honouring the assurances it gave in May 2014 that it would consult and work with the other parties represented on Calderdale Council.

“Over the past few weeks there have been two instances - the imposition of parking charges in Brighouse and the plans for Hipperholme crossroads - where the previous Labour administration made it quite clear that they would push ahead with their own agenda despite the will of local people.

“All the current opposition groups on the council found their attitude completely unacceptable and we therefore had no option but to call for a vote of no confidence in the current administration.

“After serious consideration, we have resolved to work collectively over the next nine months to ensure that the council better serves the local community.”

He said priorities will be removing unwanted parking charges in Brighouse and also dropping the previously proposed plans for Hipperholme crossroads.