The Central Street saga
Saturday, 21 February 2009
In light of the decision by Calderdale not to approve the improvement work needed to the Central Street area, Hebden Royd Town Council are seeking support from the community, and urging people to make representations to Calderdale Council. They have provided a template of a letter which could be used, or adapted. You should add your address to this Word document.
Please post your letter to Calderdale and email a copy to Hebden Royd Town Council.
Download Word template of letter
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
The Hebden Bridge Web has been sent the report (pdf) prepared for the Calderdale Cabinet on the repairs needed to be made to the Central Street area of Hebden Bridge.
As reported in the Hebden Bridge Web in January 2008, "There has been pressure on Calderdale Council for 25 years to sort out Central Street, in Hebden Bridge. The cobbled road is privately owned and legally the responsibility of neighbouring shops and businesses."
Recently, there has been discussion by local councillors and others in the Hebweb Forum about Calderdale Council's failure to act.
On 12th January, Cllr Janet Battye wrote "Calderdale Council's Cabinet have turned down the request for the Council to repair the street and then adopt it. This is really very disappointing as a lot of hard work has gone into this by a combination of Hebden Royd Town Council and ourselves as Calderdale ward Councillors with the support of Calderdale's Regeneration Scrutiny Panel and Highways Officers." She added, "We need local people's continued support and petitioning to keep up the effort! This is something that we've got to get sorted!!"
On 20th January, Cllr Craig Whittaker (member of the Calderdale Cabinet and prospective Conservative Parliamentary candidate) wrote "It is amusing to see my Council Colleagues in the Upper Valley putting their own political slant on what has happened over the decision with Central Street." Cllr Whittaker's message to the Hebweb Forum informs us that the Calderdale Cabinet refused funding because it thought it was being asked to pay the majority of the costs, ie, £60,000.
However, according to to para 4.8 and Appendix 2 of the report to Calderdale Cabinet, the cost of the project was estimated (September 2007) at £96,000 which allowing for inflation since that time gives the rounded estimate of £100,000. It was also noted that there may be issues not anticipated that could increase the cost but that is the same with any project.
Calderdale MBC has offered to fund to £20k and Hebden Royd Town Council has agreed to match that figure, which left a deficit of £60k. The balance remaining after known funding was in place (includes Central Street School) was £42k which was to be paid by the landlords, ultimately as a charge on the property if they were opposed to paying the bill.
The major landowners, former Pitt Street Adult Education Centre, Central Street School and the Co-op would face bills of around £6k, £18k and £10k respectively. The remaining landowners would face bills of around £1,200 and those with Gable end properties £4,500. Estimate from estate agents in Hebden Bridge was that the improved works would add £2,000 typically to the value of properties, i.e. significantly more than the cost of works.
It is thought that Central Street School might be prepared to pay a little more than its share as the school is committed to the project.
If members of the Calderdale Cabinet voted on the basis that Calderdale was required to fund £60k as has been suggested by Cllr Craig Whittaker (prosepctive Conservative Parliamentary candidate) it would appear that they were misled as the report states Calderdale MBC contribution as £20k. Any additional funding required would be in the form of costs to be recovered from landowners. The report also made it clear repeatedly that no precedent would be set; this location was unique.
In the meantime, one local landowner, Justin Pringle, has told the Hebweb Forum that he would be happy to arrange to tarmac the road.
Hebweb News, December 2007 - Central Street area upgrade