The Mayor of Meltham has defended cash-strapped Kirklees Council’s decision to grant £100,000 to a community centre in the town.
Controversy arose in last week’s budget when Kirklees Council, which had to cut £20 million off its budget, agreed to give the grant to Meltham’s Carlile institute. Some councillors were up in arms as Meltham Town Council posted a balance of £621,897 in April last year.
But Mayor of Meltham Coun Terry Lyons (ind) said: “Meltham Town Council has already given a grant of £10,000 to the institute, which is the maximum grant that we give out.
“The town council has also done a lot of fundraising for groups in the community, and have raised £50,000 for the last five years.
“The Carlile Institute is a new venture and we want to employ local people during its refurbishment.”
Plans for the institute include making it into a community hub, which may incorporate a Post Office.
Mayor of Mirfield coun Vivien Lees Hamilton (con) said: “It’s like sending coals to Newcastle.
“Think of the potholes in the road the council could have mended with that money. Meltham Parish Council should be able to afford this grant.”
But acting leader of Kirklees Council coun David Sheard (lab) stressed the project was estimated to cost £400,000 and that Kirklees was only funding part of it.
He added: “Just because Meltham has a town council does not mean that their residents should be given any less by Kirklees than anyone else.”