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Silsden Town Hall hire cash row
12:27pm Thursday 30th January 2014 in Keighley
A politician is angry Bradford Council will not pay the £45 cost of hiring its own building in Silsden.
Andrew Mallinson has offered to stump up the rent fee himself to hold a meeting at Silsden Town Hall.
He is keen to show off the results of the council’s recent £300,000 refurbishment of the historic building in Kirkgate.
But as the council has to bill itself for the hire of the hall, it’s refusing to cough up.
He said: “It’s an example of good practice – of the council investing money, working with residents and shaping services to local needs.
“The council has blocked me because it doesn’t have a budget to go to meetings around the district.”
Coun Mallinson chairs the regeneration and economy overview and scrutiny committee, which discusses how to make the best use of council buildings in the current climate of public spending cuts.
He said the Silsden Town Hall project – which included moving Silsden Library into the building – was a perfect example of this.
Coun Mallinson added: “I was trying to make the council more open and transparent through showcasing best practice in refurbishing council buildings and co-locating services.
“It seems strange this fails because of £45, even when it is a council meeting being held in a council-owned building.”
Adrian Tumber, the council’s committee services manager, said: “For a meeting to be held elsewhere, it should be free let and accessible for the public.
“If there is a need for a meeting to be held in a particular location because of a relevant agenda item and there is a cost for hiring a venue, we try to identify a budget to meet this.
“Coun Mallinson did request a future meeting of the scrutiny committee be held at Silsden Town Hall, but we do not have the budget for holding a meeting where there is a charge involved.”
Mr Tumber said council meetings had recently been held at venues including Keighley Town Hall and Wilsden Village Hall.
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