Was office sold on the cheap by council?

Calderdale Council Lawson Road Office.
Calderdale Council Lawson Road Office.

Concerns are still being raised over the way Calderdale Council sold its offices in Lawson Road, Brighouse.

Residents are unsatisfied with the answer they have been given by the council at the ward forum in relation to the sale of the council offices and are questioning if they got the best deal.

In the past council buildings have been sold either by auction or by sealed bids. But the offices were sold via a direct transaction with a particular party.

Councillor Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) said he could sympathise with residents’ concerns.

As previously reported the council said they did seek legal guidance from an independent external valuer.

But Bill Ibberson who raised the original concern said he was not happy with that procedure either.

“The council got the bid almost 18 months ago, the market has moved considerably since and now we are selling it at a price that is 18 months old.

“What is being done with the highways? Is Lawson Road going to be closed up?

“Are other assets being disposed of in this way? We need to call a meeting with the council so we can ask.”

Pat Oates added: “The council tax payers pay their tax we expected to get the best we can for any property the council sells. I don’t think it has been done properly or freely.”

Ann Rutherford said it has been dealt with behind closed doors and it shouldn’t have been.

David Armitage said: “In a small way I am thinking did we get the best deal and I’m not sure the answer we were given was satisfactory. I would look at it as here we go again.”

Residents have called for a meeting with the council and are asking for the sale of the building to be put on hold until their questions have been answered.

A spokesman for Calderdale Council said: “We have a prospective purchaser and expect the sale to be completed in the next two weeks.”