Petition relaunch in bid to save sports centre

SPORTS centre users in Cleckheaton are to relaunch a petition in the hope of forcing a demolition rethink.

The Friends of Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre believe decisions were taken without consultation.

Whitcliffe Mount is to be bulldozed to allow a multi-million pound rebuilding of the secondary school next door.

A freedom of information request was made to see how Kirklees arrived at its decision.

Friends group members claim the council dragged its heels – and they only got answers when the information commissioner intervened.

A petition was then launched to force the council debate they felt they had been denied.

In a twist, Kirklees ‘lost’ the petition, and when it was found there were not quite enough signatures to trigger a review.

As a result the friends group is relaunching the petition tomorrow (Sat) to get the 3,000 names they need.

The launch is at the sports centre at 3pm. Campaigners want as many people as possible to turn out.

Group secretary Graham Morley said: “Kirklees Council are running a very secretive process to demolish Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre.

“There have been no public meetings or consultations about the demolition, which there should have been.”

Labour Parliamentary candidate for Batley and Spen Jo Cox is trying to mediate and has organised two public meetings in addition to quizzing Kirklees about the affair.

A council spokeswoman said: “Decisions regarding the new Whitcliffe Mount School had to be taken in private.

“The council was working with the Education Funding Authority, a government agency, and it involved a number of confidential issues.”


Demolition threatens roller hockey club

THE FUTURE of a Cleckheaton roller hockey club is in doubt due to the likely demolition of the town’s sports centre.

Spen Valley Flyers will be left homeless when Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre is pulled down.

Organiser Dan Messenger said: “The very future of our club is in question.

“We desperately need help from the council and school to ensure that we have a local venue.”

A £395,000 temporary fitness ‘pod’ will be added at Spenborough Pool in Liversedge. But the fate of indoor bowling, roller hockey and squash teams remains up in the air.

Labour Parliamentary candidate for Batley and Spen Jo Cox, who will discuss the issues with council leader David Sheard, said: “There are clear concerns from people about what will happen with indoor bowling, roller hockey and squash.

“All these have a home at Whitcliffe Mount, but they may be lost. These concerns need to be heard.”

Coun Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike) agreed to meet Mrs Cox after the election.

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