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Picture House

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 27 February 2011

I notice that messages of support are 'flooding' in for the Big Society 'Let's Play at Running Hebden Bridge Picture House' meeting this week.

In the spirit of democracy and transparency the organisers are promising I wonder if I could see copies of this deluge of support which I'm assuming will have come in via email.

As someone who is a council tax payer - and therefore already a part-owner of the cinema - I'd be keen to see why all those people think a bunch of well-meaning amateurs running my cinema is such a good idea.

From Larry Kin

Sunday, 27 February 2011

I concur, it looks like another example of a few unelected people trying to get control of a community asset.

One worries that the control is effectively being wrestled from the council who may well have continued to run it without 'community' involvement. Obviously since these people have come along and offered to take it off their hands the council will pass it over, it saves money and it looks like they're doing it all in the name of community. Splendid way to enable the stripping of council owned and run services.

Naturally the cohort of a few local people who enjoy setting up such community owned projects will be able to pay themselves a stipend to run the cinema to their own agenda too. Everyone's a winner.

May I suggest to the organisers that if they are indeed concerned about the community that instead of presenting the transition of ownership as a fait accomplis that they instead consult the users of the cinema about whether they would rather that it is run as it is now (well and democratically) or whether instead they'd prefer the intended to take control.


From Dave Nelson

Monday, 28 February 2011

Paul and Larry,
Your well-articulated concerns will certainly be addressed at the public meeting on Thursday (7.30pm Riverside School), so I hope you'll you'll come along to find out more.

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Nope...no reply yet from the democrats who want to take over our cinema.

Not that I was expecting one.

I won't be able to make the meeting on Thurs but perhaps the great and the good who want to play cinemas could answer one simple question for me?

I have seen guesses from 400K to 700K for the costs of repairing the cinema building. Are these huge figures just wild rumours or is there an accurate figure?

There should be an accurate figure freely available by this point as raising this sort of money will be the biggest challenge as you will have to sell industrial amounts of Freetrade coffee and cakes to make that sort of cash.

In the interests of democracy I think we need to know.

From John Evan

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I, too, would be interested to know how much "community" support this initiative has; in particular, support from those members of the community who actually use the cinema regularly. I understood that demonstration of such was a key condition to be satisfied prior to Local Authorities considering allowing a formal application to be pursued. I assume that all will be made crystal clear at this meeting...

From Anne B

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I have just read the application online and am dismayed and offended by the reference to "safe screenings for special needs". I regularly attend the Picture House for Elevenses, on occasions partnering a friend who needs some assistance. The current Picture House staff are wonderful and caring. It is one place where we always feel safe. To suggest that this is not always the case is insulting and demonstrates that the partners behind this proposed takeover really have little understanding of the Picture House, how it is cureently run and what it means to local people.

The whole process is shameful. Please don't print my full name if possible. Thank you.

From Kerry McQuade

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Hmm. So the meeting on Thursday isn't an open discussion about the future of the Picture House. It's a discussion about an already-submitted, slightly sketchy asset transfer plan.
See you there.

From Myra James

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I find myself rather surprised and disturbed by the overwhelmingly negative response in this forum to the forthcoming meeting about the future of the Picture House. I don't know whether an asset transfer is the best way forward or not but want to listen with an open mind to what those proposing it have to say, and hear what benefits there might be, as well as discuss drawbacks and potential pitfalls. Isn't that what the public meeting is for? And I'm sure that the various proposals for the future (eg regarding provision for special needs) do not imply that the existing management and staff necessarily do badly in these respects.

My feeling is that the proposal comes out of a love for the Picture House and a desire to protect and build on the excellent service it already provides. Some of us may need more convincing than others, but let's give the proposal a fair hearing.

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

So the cat is out of the bag - a bid has gone into to transfer our Picture House to a group who as far as I can see has not consulted either the public in HB who already own this building or even the people like me who use the PH.

No mention of the bid on the posters advertising the public meeting which led most people who were going along to think they would actually debate all the options but instead it seems they want to elect a committee to rubberstamp a decision that has already been made by people who know best. The presumption is that asset transfer is the only option so resistance is futile

I can't make the meeting but I have a couple of questions that I think we can usefully debate on this forum.

I may have missed the customer poll so can the Project Team provide me with the results of their private polling of people across HB that shows we want to give away our most beloved asset or the results of their customer poll?

The Project Team has put this bid together so my second question is were the Project Team elected and if so can I see the results of the ballot? Were they selected and if so by whom and what are their constituencies? How do they report back to those constituencies?

Can we see copies of any reports submitted to the Project Group?

There are gaping holes in this bid and massive assumptions based on little or no obvious evidence. But I will wait until I see the report of the meeting on Hebweb before I ask further questions like where are they going to find 500k for repairs and conversion to digital as in fairness to the Project Team they may be answered on the night.

The PH belongs to us all and we need an open and honest debate about its future. Sadly the early signs are not encouraging.

From Graham Barker

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I've read the proposal and it seems very well thought through and admirably well written. Commercially it makes sense - more so than the plans for the Town Hall, which I still have serious doubts about - and as its backers include five councils, there is already significant democratic accountability.

As for the reference to 'safe screenings for special needs', I don't see anything offensive in that at all; there's no suggestion it isn't happening already. It's just one of a list of items for possible future provision, which presumably includes continued provision.

The proposal - and that's all it is at this stage - might seem to some to be jumping the gun, but it's realistic to assume that the Council must now regard the cinema as a liability and a prime candidate for disposal. It's therefore sensible to be prepared for the eventuality rather than unprepared.

The critics have to answer the question: if the Council decides not to retain ownership, what's the alternative? Leave it to the property market to decide? Fancy a nice bunch of canalside apartments? Fancy a lot more moaning about there being 'nothing to do in Hebden Bridge'? The building's most likely fate would be a few years standing empty while 'alternative uses' were sought, then demolition. It's therefore good to have a constructive solution to at least consider.

I'm not involved in the bid to take over the cinema, in fact rarely go there, and won't be able to make the meeting on Thursday. But I'd much rather see the cinema survive than disappear, and would definitely support it if it did indeed transfer into community ownership.

From Kerry McQuade

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Hebden Bridge is a magical place! The Hebden Royd Town Council website says tomorrow's meeting has already happened. I bet it was interesting.

From John Evan

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Perhaps the reason why there is so much negative comment (see Myra's comment) stems from the manner by which this whole process has been undertaken. It, indeed, appears to be a "fait accompli" carried out by (mostly) unelected individuals without any attempt at public consultation.

The application has been worded and presented in such a cynical fashion (correct, Anne B) as beggars belief; only a Local Authority would give it credence. Let's clarify matters; even Jason Boom and Robin Dixon have admitted publicly that there is no immediate threat to the Picture House; the initial "scare stories" (unedited Press Releases) which appeared in the local press last year spoke about "reforming the Friends of HB Picture House" (fair enough) in order to look at ways of securing the long term future of the Picture House.

Without any further public consultation (accompanied by a suspicious lack of self trumpet-blowing) the asset transfer process has been set in motion over a period of months. Hardly "transparent and open"! Only now that it has progressed to the stage where possible dates of transfer are being mooted has a "Public" Meeting been called.

As a Council Tax payer, local resident and regular patron of the Picture House I think that I'm justified in suggesting that this whole procedure is highly questionable. If I may, might I ask Graham to clarify his comment? Given that there has never been a suggestion that the cinema would disappear and the fact that he "rarely goes there" then WHY would he "definitely support it if it did indeed transfer into community ownership"? I mention this not to put Graham on the spot but to highlight the fact that this whole affair has been fuelled by scaremongering. In my opinion, this process needs halting immediately, pending a full public consultation. I hope that you consider my comments suitable for posting as I have a feeling that this thread may well be the only opportunity for most residents to air their feelings - I'm not holding out much hope for tomorrow's meeting...

From Andrew Hall

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Oh for goodness sake! If anyone is as interested and enthused enough as to want to run a local 'picture house', let them do it! Let them decide what to show. All this talk of a 'community asset' etc is really so meaningless. Does it really matter who owns the cinema? Honestly, does it?

I have a wondrous device called a DVD player. I can rent or download whatever film I want and watch it on my television. It's great! If I want to stop the film to go and make a cup of tea or answer the call of nature, I have a thing called a 'pause button' which freezes the film at a defined point in time. You can get such devices for as little as £20.

What's more, there's no talking, no rustling of cellophane, no slurping of Coca Cola, no Pearl and Dean, no standing up to let someone get past you. It's just you and the film. In cinematic terms, how pure is that!

But of course it doesn't need to be like that. The proposals mean that the cinema will almost certainly be in safer hands than it is with Calderdale Council. And does anyone really think it won't be run in a more democratic way than it is under Council ownership? What input do we currently have to the cinema!

The alternative may be to write to Wetherspoons. It would make a fabulous pub.

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

John, I can only clarify my comments by saying the same things in a different way. When local authorities are being pressured to dispose of non-essentials, and even many essentials, the Picture House has to be under threat; if not this year, then next year or the one after that, because savings will have to be found for several years to come until the cupboard is bare.

In that context, the absence of an immediate threat means very little. A council-owned cinema is an anomaly, so it's got to be a sitting duck. If the Tories were still running Calderdale it would probably be gone already. Therefore, if the Picture House is worth saving, the effort to save it needs to begin sooner rather than later.

And why would I suddenly start going to the Picture House if it were to become a community owned asset? To support and enjoy it - simple as that. I like going to the cinema, and other members of my family go often. It just happens that at present, other priorities make my own cinema visits a rarity. That can change.

From John Evan

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Thanks for that response, Graham. As you say, a genuine threat could come at any time. I would suggest, however, that a not for profit, community run enterprise being mainly run, in all likelihood, by volunteers and financially reliant upon endless rounds of grant applications is hardly a sound alternative for any long term project. To reiterate; What was this supposed "threat" to the Picture House specifically? Does no-one bother reading CMBC's Budget Proposals? The whole "closure" issue has been concocted by Hebden Royd Town Council and their "partners" for, I would suggest, reasons of self-interest.

From Jason Elliott

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Sure, the Picture House needs a spot of fixing up, the loos for a start, but it actually made a small operating profit last financial year so its obviously quite well run business-wise.

It seems to me, that as we already own it and it shows the kind of films we want and puts on the kind of events we like, not to mention selling Fair Trade hot chocolate, that rushing through an asset transfer from "all of us" ie. the elected council to an unelected "community" organisation is a tad premature.

It seems a little odd the Hebden Bridge, of all places, is encouraging the council to embark on asset-stripping.


From Catherine Groves (Councillor, Fairfield ward)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Thank you to all those people who turned out to the meeting. I believe that the overwhelming feeling was positive. This is just the beginning of the process. The fact is that if we don't do anything then we will lose the Picture House.

From Paul Clarke

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Sadly I only arrived back in HB as the PH meeting was breaking up so perhaps Cllr Groves could provide me with the evidence for the 'fact' that we are going to lose the PH.

I'm assuming she presented her evidence to the meeting and I'll like to see her dossier that backs that claim.

Oh, and while we're at it I noticed that the empty threat of luxury flats was thrown into the mix. Perhaps the person who thinks a developer - in the present climate - would be interested in converting a huge crumbling cinema - that is not even that near the canal - into flats could also offer up their evidence.

It may be someone is circling round the PH but let whoever made the claim back it up.

It seems odd that when everyone seems to want to give away a prized local asset we already own that scaremongering rears its ugly head.

From Susan Burns

Saturday, 5 March 2011

The debate re 'elected' vs 'undemocratic' is interesting. When people say they want 'democratic control' are they talking about participation or representation? I only ask, as the assett transfer organisation has contacted me to ask how it went last night (through twitter).

Holding elections is no guarantee of a good outcome. After all, our elected representatives have a habit of invading countries on false intelligence, knighting bankers, enriching Rupert Murdoch, tripling university tuition fees and giving massive contracts to their mates. It's no guarantee of purity, goodness or anything really.

I'm in favour of the asset transfer. I regularly go to the Picture House. I'm in favour of having an improved upgraded digital cinema. Community events, comedy nights, folk, poetry, arts festival headliners - yes all wonderful. But film is the USP of the Picture House and its future artistic and financial success will rely on that being the main purpose of the building. The community should own the lease - sure - best formed as a partnership of local people working with the Community Association and the Council and with no particular axe to grind - but a passionate and knowledgeable film programmer should manage it.

And oh yes, Jenny Woodhead's cakes are marvellous.

From Em F

Sunday, 6 March 2011

I don't know what the best way forward is but I do agree with a lot of what Susan said - showing films is the main thing, a skilled programmer is required, the cakes - and even more so the fairtrade drinks in real mugs - must stay.

Before I moved to HB 11 years ago I went to the cinema maybe once a year. Since discovering the Picture House I go probably once a month, sometimes more. It's the programme mix, the mugs and the dishevelled old-fashioned grandeur that make the difference.

It's tempting to say 'it's not broke so don't try to fix it'. But it does seem fairly realistic that Calderdale council won't be able to afford to change to digital and maintain the building in the fairly short-term future.

Please, whoever ends up looking after it, it's very precious: don't break it.

From Jen Skinner

Sunday, 6 March 2011

I agree with Susan, Hebden Bridge Picture House is a successful cinema and that needs to be it's priority. I feel the idea of increased day time use for community groups is a good one but to increase use that will effect the evening programme is something that needs to be overseen by a neutral body to enable the film programme to work successfully.

Hebden Bridge Picture House is a real jewel and is fondly thought of within the industry. This is down to the passion and support of it's audience and the love and care the staff.

I feel after the meeting on Thursday the only way forward for the cinema is asset transfer. The council said that they will not be investing any more money into it and the work that they have quoted for will only increase. There is also the pressing need for digital conversion, while the cinema remains in council hands it will continue to be unable to apply for funding pots that it otherwise could. As part of the council it also has to pay money back into the directorate which are substantial sums and without this it would be making a profit. So all in all I think overseen by someone who understands the business it would be in a much stronger situation.

We are fortunate to have Bill Lawrence offering his support to this project, as those heard on Thursday night he worked with Fi Godfrey Fausett to set the programme up as it stands today and has mentored and supported all the subsequent managers of the Picture House. Bill is one of the most respected film programmers in the North of England, he was head of film at the National Media Museum and Creative Director of the Showroom in Sheffield and sits on the board for Screen Yorkshire. I share some of the concerns about the knowledge of some of the other speakers on Thursday night in this area but they are aware of this and have brought in an expert.

Finally - rant nearly over - I would like to ask that however this moves forward the staff of the cinema are kept informed and supported. From the programming to the projection, kiosk and box office, the staff have pulled together to make the cinema what it is today. They have had a very unsettling year and the cinema wouldn't be the same without them.

From Graham Barker

Sunday, 6 March 2011

I agree with Susan. There's a big difference between transparency and democracy. It's possible and indeed common to have one without the other. The Picture House consortium - if that's the right word - are being admirably transparent whether they've been elected or not.

One doesn't have to look far to find examples of the opposite. The democratically elected governors of Calder High School refused to make public anything about the decision to sack Miss Rusty until they were dragged into an industrial tribunal. And the democratically elected Calderdale Council has yet to make public the full story about the £6m lost on the botched Sita contract.

Democracy without transparency is worthless. Paul and others keep insisting on evidence. That's probably the last thing they'd get if the process were as 'democratic' as they seem to want.

From Mark Simmonds

Monday, 7 March 2011

The digital switchover and associated investment would appear to make the asset transfer the only possible long term solution for the cinema.

I'm a big fan of communities owning and developing local assets and community enterprises - see www.communityshares.org.uk for lots of examples. It's relatively easy to create a democratic, accountable organisation to have strategic overview of such an enterprise - it's called a co-operative.

The deal breaker for me is going to be the business case. Is the cinema in community hands, with all the associated changes in its business environment - financing options, business rates etc., a viable, sustainable proposition? I look forward to the answer.


From Hugh Wilson

Monday, 7 March, 2011

I was at the meeting and fairly convinced by the arguments. Those who favour the status quo need to either refute Bill Lawrence's claim that the cinema will need to go digital within 18 months or die, or show how this will be accomplished through council funding.

To me this seems like the crux of the matter. Does it need this investment or not (one expert suggests it does)? If it does, how does it get it? If Bill Lawrence was right, the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' argument just doesn't stand.

From Jen Skinner

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The conversion to digital is a necessity, if the Picture House doesn't keep up it will eventually be unable to get 35mm copies of new releases. It already feels the effect with some films having a very limited release on 35mm, Hanekes 2009 film The White Ribbon was only released on 3 x 35mm copies which then had to do the rounds, this meant a delay to it's screening at Hebden and also effects the quality due to the wear on the film.

The Picture House is a member of the Cinema Exhibitors Association and has joined their scheme to help independent cinema's with the cost of going digital. As Bill said at the meeting the scheme requires an initial payment of 15k with the remaining cost being paid off over time.

From Paul Clarke

Friday, 11 March 2011

Nope.... no evidence from Cllr Groves to back her claim we are going to lose the Picture House.

Nope... nothing from the person who talked about the fantasy developer lying in wait to convert a huge crumbling cinema into flats.

But as you might imagine I have been mulling over the PH takeover which isn't 'set in stone' (yeah, right) and one basic question came to mind.

There is nothing in this flimsy report that would take long to establish - like analysing the result of a poll of cinema goers for instance. so why didn't the 'not the usual suspects' (sic) working party hold a meeting much earlier before they submitted their bid.

That would have a genuine consultation where ideas from outside the local establishment could have added to the bid and then they could have put it to the meeting where they might have headed off the debate raging around this 'not set in stone' bid.

From Catherine Groves (Councillor, Fairfield ward)

Friday, 11 March 2011

Sorry I haven't replied earlier but I was representing Hebden Royd at the Karnival in our twin town of Warstein. I don't have the 'facts' that Paul asks for - merely an extrapolation from what Robin Tuddenham of Calderdale Council said on the night. Calderdale have no money to invest in the cinema, nor any intention to find any. The cinema needs investment in order to survive.

From Graham Barker

Friday, 11 March 2011

This may be stating the obvious but no developer is going to 'convert a huge crumbling cinema into flats'. They'll knock it down first, then build on the land.

From Larrry Kin

Saturday, 12 March 2011

The key argument presented on the night was that there is funding that a local authority cannot access that would benefit the cinema.

How about a middle way - form Friends of the Picture House as a charitable organisation, leave ownership and management of the Picture House with the Council but allow the Friends to contribute to the upkeep and renovation that all those who want the asset transfer claim is the sole reason that they want the asset transfer.

The Friends could access the money that the Council cannot, but without the risk of having to own the asset, and with the Picture House remaining truly in community ownership - i.e. still under the Council.

One suspects that this won't be popular because this doesn't help the establishment of the fiefdom that may well be driving some of the proclaimed good intentions.

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 13 March 2011

I am grateful to Cllr Groves for getting back to me and my apologies to her as I didn't realise she was abroad on vital council business.

But I'm also grateful she admits she doesn't have any facts to support her assertion that we are going to lose the PH. Indeed that view isn't shared by the council rep Robin who said 'There is nothing in the budget to say we will close the PH.' Given he was talking about the 2011-12 budget it makes the unseemly haste from the 'not the usual suspects' working party even odder.

But the real debate is future investment and how to find that money.

The big question the 'not the usual suspects' could answer is exactly what grants can the working party access but the council cannot. In the interest of being open it would be helpful to have a full list of what grants are only availble to groups like the Friends of the PH but not to councils.

I also note that although 'nothing is set in stone' an application has been made to Calderdale for a grant but that raises even more questions.

Part of that is £95,000 for urgent repairs which seems straightforward although it still raises a question where the other 300K will come from. I can only hope this figure includes a refurb of the rancid downstairs loos which are a disgrace but seems to be accepted as part of the charm of the PH.

The next two bits are far more interesting. 40K - yes, you read that right 40K - for a project officer. Once again in the interests of open debate can we see a job description for that job as many local people thrown on the dole by the Coalition cuts might be interested in a well paid post like that.

The final part of bid raises another question. According to the HB Times the 'not the usual suspects' are looking for £16k for digital conversion. Yet on page 9 of their own report it states the cost of digital conversion is up to 80K. Maybe the 16k covers the initial costs but I'd be interested in an explanation of the difference between the two figures.

I've read the report a couple of times and much of it I agree with in terms of ideas for long term development of extra income streams. But I think many people are concerned we need to have a period of reflection and open discussion about how we secure the long term future of the PH.


From Catherine Groves (Councillor, Fairfield ward)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Apology accepted. Thanks Paul. Many of your questions would have been answered if you had been able to attend the meeting. I am confident that you will be happy, maybe even grateful, when you have all the 'facts'

From Paul Clarke

Monday, 14 March 2011

We will all be so grateful I think the theme of the Handmade Parade should be the achievements of the 'not the usual suspects' and I can yank my forelock as they float past.

Meanwhile, back in the real world no answers to my very specific questions. Quelle surprise.

Although I didn't attend the meeting it seems that the 500K for repairs was only revealed some way into the meeting when someone asked if it was true. Surely in the spirit of openess that should have been the top line issue?

Of course the figure is in the report but I'm shocked to find no copies of the report were available for people to read and ask questions. Again, page one stuff.

Then I find that there wasn't even a Powerpoint style presentation to go through the key issues. I suspect most of us have sat through Powerpoints on fairly minor issues whereas taking over a community asset qualifies as a big issue for all of us. The future of the PH requires a through and detailed walk through the key issues so people can see if the 'nothing is set in stone' application for an asset transfer is viable.

Another question (that won't be answered) is about the subsidy the cinema gets from Calderdale. Can 'not the usual suspects' confirm it is 15k and has that been taken into consideration in the business plan? If so how?

Finally, there is a mention of local drama groups coming back to use the PH. Now I'm assuming they will want three or four night runs to make it worth their while. So is that case and how will that impact on the core business, ie showing films?

From Jon Morris

Monday, 14 March 2011

I agree with Mark Simmonds. On the face of it, a community run, not-for-profit cinema/arts centre seems to be a good idea. I recently lived in Cardiff, where the Chapter arts centre is run on a similar basis. It is a much larger site, in a capital city, but the principle is the same.

The most important issue here is that the cinema is run well by people who care; whether they are the council or a local consortium is secondary. Calderdale doesn't have a particularly brilliant track record, but we need to know a bit more about these "usual suspects" and what they hope to achieve.

I would also be interested in seeing this evidence of community support for the takeover. They must have missed me when they were polling everyone.

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

So 'nothing is set in stone' but Calderdale give their officers delegated powers to complete the asset transfer.

Interesting definition of 'nothing set in stone'.

On another note - like Jon - I was also missed when they polled cinema customers... must have been carried out during the endless showings of Made in Dagenham which I avoided.

From Gwen Goddard

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Presumably Paul Clarke is referring to the Hebweb's news item on the Picture House. This says that Calderdale has given delegated powers to their officers to negotiate the asset transfer, not complete it. A very different task from the one he suggests is the case.

From Paul Clarke

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

At last one of the 'not the usual suspects' replies but the response from Gwen is not that useful.

She is right to say the officers have been given powers to negotiate but given the 'not the usual suspects' have already made an application for asset transfer those negotiations are now at a advanced point with some important questions still unanswered. Perhaps Gwen could tell us if the delegated powers include the authority to agree their application?

I wonder if Gwen can shed some light on any of my questions or indeed the identity of the mystery developer lurking in the background ready to raze the PH to the ground?

From Jan Foster

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

I have it on good authority that it is not a done deal, merely an agreement in principle - if another group came along and put in a genuine application this would be considered.

However, if you look at the Hebden Royd Town Council's blog

you will access the following quote:

"This evening, Monday 14th March 2011, Calderdale MBC took the decision to hand control of the Hebden Bridge Picture House to Hebden Royd Town Council and the Hebden Bridge Community Association. This asset transfer will be worked up in the next nine months with a proposed date for transfer set as the 1st Dec 2011."


From Charles Gate

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

To get the full picture on the Picture House you should go here and choose item 8 for the terms and conditions as laid out to Calderdale Cabinet Committee last Monday. If there were any amendments to 8 you should ring Robin Tuddenham, Director: Safer & Stronger Communities
Westgate House, Westgate, Halifax, HX1 1PS - 01422 393018. Or get in touch with your local councillor Janet Battye who chaired the meeting 01706 815292 / 01422 392754. Email: councillor.jbattye@calderdale.gov.uk

From N Yorke

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Yes, it's very much worth reading the council minutes. It details a very clear set of conditions.

Three things to highlight

"..a condition of asset transfer is that extensive consultation is carried out. This will need to engage the following:

  • Current cinema going public in HB
  • Council tax payers in HB
  • Local schools / colleges

This list is not exhaustive and the Council will need to be satisfied that the consultation process has been suitably rigorous." and that these should show the community are 'broadly' in support of the proposal. (to be completed by the 1st of Dec 2011)

"...details of how the governing organisation becomes accredited to full VISIBLE* standards " (* detailed in the minutes and to be completed by the 1st of Dec 2011)

". . . ensure it continues to be operated to agreed standards and principles and that it is run primarily as a cinema for the benefit of the entire community."

Also it gives the council's view on why it's not particularly inclined to continue running it (most financial reasons)

From John Evan

Friday, 18 March 2011

Re. Jan's comment above I was somewhat intrigued by the Hebden Royd Blog posting of 4th March: "The meeting decided overwelmingly to not stop the process and to let it begin." Surely it would be better to just admit, once and for all, that this deal was sewn up months ago, if only to avoid further examples of strangled grammar?

From Paul Clarke

Monday, 21 March 2011

Nope . . . still no answers from the 'not the usual suspects'.

They really must think we are all mugs and Cllr Fekri JP's comment that 'nothing is set in stone' is looking dafter by the day.

I felt sorry for Gwen saying that officers were only considering the bid when the Town Council blog is claiming it is 'set in stone'.

I agree with the comment that it would be more honest at the meetingto say this was a done deal and when that deal was done. I think that being treated like idiots is what is really winding people up as well as just how flimsy the bid actually is.

It is interesting that oh so alternative Hebden - the hamlet that dared to fight back - has a sad tendency to be very passive when the great and good announce their good intentions to us.

I'll wait a little longer for a reply then maybe some FOI requests will shed some light on the history of this bid.

From Claire M

Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Picture House is an absolute asset to Hebden Bridge and very well used, my family included. I hope that we can all save the Picture House.

See HebWeb News - report of public meeting of 3 March 2011

See Submission to Calderdale Council for asset transfer of
Hebden Bridge Picture House. This submission is made jointly by Hebden Royd Town Council and Hebden Bridge Community Association, with the support of Blackshaw Parish Council, Erringden Parish Council, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, Hebden Bridge Ground Floor Project, Hebden Bridge Partnership, Heptonstall Parish Council, and Wadsworth Parish Council

Facebook group - Lets Save Hebden Bridge Picture House

Hebweb News - Feb-March 2011

HebWeb News: Save the Picture House - October 2010

See also: HebWeb news of the 1999 threat to the Picture House