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Initial talks to create a new Brighouse Town Council begin

Calder Valley MP and local Conservative councillors are seeking thoughts on a town council
Calder Valley MP and local Conservative councillors are seeking thoughts on a town council

Calder Valley MP and Conservative councillors across Brighouse, Rastrick, and Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, are seeking the thoughts of residents on the idea of establishing a Town Council for Brighouse.

A Town Council would operate at a level below Calderdale Council. Town Councillors are elected and they raise funds through an extra charge on your Council Tax to spend on local projects.

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For example, Hebden Royd Town Council spend thousands of pounds every year supporting local festivals and providing small grants to local groups.

The area of the Town Council could cover communities including Clifton, Rastrick, Hove Edge, Baliffe Bridge, Lightcliffe and Hipperholme.

However, a Town Council would not take over the existing powers that Calderdale Council already have. For example, a Town Council would not be able to determine where Calderdale

Council spends its funds, prevent car parking charges being imposed in Brighouse or influence planning matters such as the Local Plan allocation of 4500 new houses in Brighouse and Rastrick.

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“It has been suggested by some in the community that a ‘Town Council’ would benefit Brighouse, Rastrick and Hipperholme. We are here to represent your views and we are interested in your thoughts on this issue. If a clear majority of local people would like this proposal to go ahead then we will support it but if that is not the case, we will not support it,” said Craig Whittaker MP.

Councillor Scott Benton said: “There are advantages and disadvantages of setting up a Town Council and this is why this proposal needs to be carefully considered. For example, although Town Councils can raise extra funds to spend on local projects and provide a platform for discussing local issues, the additional tax a Town Council can set is unlimited and is typically around £85 a year.

"Furthermore, Calderdale Council would still make the big decisions on things like the Local Plan, new Parking Charges and where the vast majority of your Council Tax is spent.

"It won’t stop Brighouse getting a poor deal from a Labour-run council, it won’t stop more money being spent in Halifax and it can’t overturn unpopular decisions which impact upon Brighouse."

To give your thoughts on the idea for a Brighouse Town Council send an email to craig.whittaker.mp@parliament.uk, call 01484 711260, or complete the online survey at www.craigwhittaker.org.uk/town-council-you-decide
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