Transfer of Town Hall to community ownership one step closer

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Deciding the future of Hebden Bridge Council offices will come a step closer this week when officers from Calderdale Council meet with representatives from the Hebden Bridge Community Association on Friday, 6th March.

The meeting will explore the Council's approach to 'asset transfer' - a national programme where the ownership of buildings or land can be transferred from the Council to community groups or organisations, if it can be shown that the community as a whole would benefit.

Town Hall

Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr Ian Cooper says:

"The Council is responsible for many buildings of local and historical significance. We have a responsibility to ensure that any buildings moving from our care and ownership have a secure future where they can be of benefit to the local community.
"The Hebden Bridge Partnership have worked closely with us in exploring the practicalities of asset transfer. They have demonstrated their commitment to this landmark building, and their determination to have it play a key role in community life in Hebden Bridge for many years to come."

Following the meeting this week, the Council will need to draft a detailed policy on how asset transfer will be managed. Consultation on the policy has now been carried out and the results are being analysed.

New life

The Council's new policy will need to consider a range of issues including:

  • consultation with local people and other interested parties
  • the suitability of the building or land, and the ability of the organisation to maintain it
  • robust financial assessment of any organisation interested in taking on a former public building, and
  • the long term impact of any asset transfer on the borough as a whole.

A report is likely to be discussed by the Council's Cabinet in April.

The Hebden Bridge Community Association have said, "This is another step forward in the work we are taking to secure the future of the Town Hall in perpetuity for the town. We will be meeting Calderdale to talk through the details of the asset transfer and we hope to be able to share news of progress on the talks with the Hebden Bridge community very shortly."

See also:

Hebweb News: Government gives thumbs up to Hebden Bridge Town Hall plans (July 2008)

Hebden Bridge Community Association


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