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Silsden councillors at loggerheads over police money
1:40pm Friday 18th October 2013 in News
Councillors in Silsden are still at loggerheads over who gets to spend £25,000 of community cash donated by the police.
District councillor Andrew Mallin-son has demanded the money is put towards improvements at Silsden Town Hall.
But town council chairman, Coun Chris Atkinson, insists the cash should be spent on a community facility at nearby Wesley Place.
Coun Atkinson, the Silsden mayor, claims “possession is nine-tenths of the law”, and refuses to hand over the funds.
West Yorkshire Police gave the £25,000 in 2005 for a new police and community contact point at Wesley Place.
Bradford Council held the money for six years, then passed it to Silsden Town Council to provide a community facility.
After two years passed with no progress, Coun Mallinson – who represents Craven ward on Bradford Council – requested the cash for the town hall.
Bradford initially threatened legal action against Silsden Town Council in June this year, demanding the money be returned or spent on a suitable project.
Coun Mallinson this week said he was “furious and disgusted” the town council had neither released the money nor put forward an alternative plan.
He added: “Because of financial constraints on the town hall project, £25,000 would have put additional facilities or equipment into the hall.”
Coun Mallinson said there was a need for items including additional lighting, seats, crockery and a ‘smart board’ for public meetings.
Coun Atkinson responded that Bradford was content to leave the money where it was while the two councils continued talks.
He said: “We’re in negotiation with Bradford Council to buy Wesley Place and the library building.
“Possession is nine-tenths of the law, and we have the money. It’s in our bank account, and that’s where it’s stopping. “That money was given by West Yorkshire Police to the people of Silsden, not to Bradford and not to Coun Mallinson.”