Keighley Town Council’s new North Street civic centre has allegedly suffered serious financial losses for two consecutive months.

The claims have been made by Riddlesden resident Graham Forsyth who says he calculated a deficit based on a Freedom of Information request and information contained in two recent town council income and expenditure documents.

The documents were handed in to the Keighley News office earlier this week. When the KN began investigating, KTC special projects co-ordinator, Alan Parry, said that the town council had taken legal advice and would pursue legal action against the KN and others if material from the two “confidential” town council documents was published.

Mr Parry said the town council received no Freedom of Information request from Mr Forsyth. He said: “One of the two town council documents was inaccurate because it was out of date as soon as it was done. The other document was a forward planning projection based on the situation at the time, which was earlier than May.

“The partners [meant to occupy the premises as tenants] had not come into place on time, but those partners have now come in.”

Mr Forsyth, of Compeigne Avenue, said his calculation indicated the civic centre suffered a £26,866 loss during May and a £68,938 loss in June, giving a combined deficit for these two months of £95,805. He said he only learned those and other figures for the civic centre while investigating the possibility of setting up a new parish council for Riddlesden.

“What started off as getting facts and figures to show we could provide a parish council that would be cheaper than the town council has led to this,” he said. “This needs to be brought to public attention.”

Mr Parry said Mr Forsyth’s figures were wrong and based on out-of-date, incomplete information. He said Mr Forsyth had not seen details contained in other documents which show how new sources of income will cover the expenditure.

Mr Parry said: “What he’s got is only part of what is sent out to the committee. There were other documents that pointed out that because of the incomes which were due in over the next few months, it would all balance out. We do report everything to council. They need to be informed of positives and risk factors so we can plan in advance.

“It’s a normal system we use to report to the decision-makers. The civic centre project is evolving so fast because it’s new. Things change day to day.

“Whatever Mr Forsyth’s estimates or indications are, they are irrelevant. At the moment we are not in a loss situation. We have covered everything.”

Of the threat of legal action, KN editor Malcolm Hoddy said: “This is quite obviously a matter which is in the public interest. All of the facts and figures – apart from obvious commercial confidentiality - should be put in the public domain.”

The old North Street police station and former magistrates’ court was bought and turned into a civic centre by the town council using a £1.1 million capital repayment loan from the Government.

Last year, Mr Parry said the money would be paid back over 50 years at a rate of £55,000 per year – making a total cost of more than £2.7 million.

He added that the building’s tenants would cover the loan repayments and the running costs.